Posts Tagged ‘Israelite’

Manna, bread from Heaven, God’s way of feeding His people when they came out of Egypt into the wilderness. When you think about it, manna was just an odd phenomenon from the beginning.

Out in the desert, the people complained that they had no food to eat. In their minds back in Egypt they had pots full of meat and ate all the bread they wanted. They conveniently forgot they were slaves to the Egyptians, and that God had heard their moaning against the Egyptians and came in to set them free.


Saj - Arabic flat bread

Bread feeds the body while the Word of the Lord feeds the spirit.


Amazing freedom


Set them free He did, with spectacular miracles and the saving of their firstborn sons from the Angel of Death, and not only the sons of His people but the sons of all that believed in Him and observed the Passover instructions. Really amazing when you think about it.

Yet, not much later, they were groaning and crying out, complaining that they had been brought out to the desert to die, and not to the freedom that God had for them. What was all the complaining about? Essentially it was because they had to believe God to take care of them while they made their way through the desert to the Promised Land. The caveat was they didn’t have the luxuries of Egyptian life – if you call a life of slavery accompanied by pots of meat and daily bread luxurious.

Food for His people

And what did God do? Did He blast them for their unbelief and lack of gratitude? No, He knew His people and said, “I have heard the complaints of the Israelites.” Exodus 16:11a then provided them with bread in the form of manna in the morning and meat in the form of quail in the evening. He fed them.

This was no easy feat, by some estimates over 2 million people came out of Egypt during the Exodus. Two million people scouring the desert for something to eat, 2 million people being fed by white flakes that appeared in the morning and disappeared as the sun rose.

Exactly the amount we need

But, manna wasn’t just handed to the people, they had to go out and gather it. Every morning they went out, except the sixth day when they gathered enough for two days because they needed to observe what would become the Sabbath. And everyone gathered exactly the amount they needed, not a scrap more, not a scrap less. When it was weighed no matter what they thought they gathered, they found it was just the exact amount they needed to eat for that day.

Just the exact amount of food for that day, each according to his appetite and age. And, isn’t that what God does with us and our spiritual food? When we take the time every day to be fed by His Word, we get exactly what we need, not too much and not too little, each according to what we need, but if we don’t take that time, we starve.

“At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will eat bread until you are full. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.” Exodus 16:11b


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The first chapter of B'reshit, or Genesis, wri...

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of years ago I was in Bible study that posed an interesting question.

At some point during the study, we went back into Genesis and looked at the 12 sons of Israel, who was at one point Jacob before God gave him a new name. Be that as it may, the question actually had to do with the sons and their temperaments and asked us if we were to belong to any tribe of the 12, which tribe would it be and why.

Every once in a while I think about that question and, depending on what we answer, what it reveals about each one of us.

Then, and now, I would want to be in the tribe of Benjamin because he was the one who  stayed with his father, and, not only that, he was the beloved youngest son. I like the fact that he didn’t go with the others to Egypt because his father wanted to keep him at his side. I also like the fact that it doesn’t seem like Benjamin argued which leads me to believe he was perfectly content to stay behind with Israel.

Each of the brothers was known for something and was blessed in a certain way pertaining to their future when Israel was about to die. Each of them had certain attributes that would serve the nation of Israel as a whole.

In thinking about the 12 sons and what they brought to the nation, it’s worth thinking about in the larger picture of the body of believers and what each one of us contributes to the whole that allows it to function effectively. What our traits are, our preferences and how God has put them into us to fulfill a certain role in His Kingdom.

Not one of us has the same role, not one of us has the same gifts (even though they may be similar), not one of us has the same relationship with the Lord even though all of us are called to follow Him and stay as close to Him as we can because that’s the only way we can fulfill the role He has for us.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;”

Jeremiah 1:5a


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