Why Manna?


This past week I was reading a study on the Book of Exodus for my morning time with the Lord. There were, of course, many climacteric points I enjoyed concerning the long-term mysterious miracle, manna, which was the bread that came out of heavens to feed millions of God's people. The Hebrew word for manna literally means "what is it?" In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus declares that He is the real manna—the bread out of heaven, the bread of God, the bread of life, the living bread, the true bread.

Actually what's so miraculous is the fact that we can eat the Lord Jesus, the true Bread; furthermore that "we are what we eat." When we eat the Lord in His Word consistently, daily, we would be built up with Him and thereby express His life and nature. Amazing, isn't it? When we eat Manna we become manna. And according to a footnote from Exodus 16:31 (RcV), here are the characteristics of Christ as manna given to God's people:
  • Fine and small - Christ is even and balanced, small enough for us to eat.
  • Round - Christ is eternal, perfect, and full, without shortage or defect.
  • White - Christ is clean and pure, without any mixture.
  • Like frost - Christ not only cools and refreshes us but also kills the negative things within us.
  • Like a coriander seed - Christ is full of life that grows in us and multiplies.
  • Solid - After gathering Christ as manna, we must prepare Him for our eating by "grinding, beating, and boiling" Him in the situations and circumstances of our daily living. This means we must experience and enjoy Christ in a particular process until Christ is fully fitting to be wrought into us in that specific situation or circumstance of our living.
  • Like bdellium in appearance - the brightness and transparency of Christ.
  • In its taste like the taste of cakes baked in oil - the fragrance of the Holy Spirit in the taste of Christ.
  • In its taste like wafers made with honey - the sweetness of the taste of Christ.
  • Good for making cakes - Christ is like fine cakes rich in nourishment.
Yet the question today is why did God insist on feeding the children of Israel only manna in the wilderness?

Many of us overlooked the underlying problem with God's people who had just made a grand exodus out of Egypt—the people had left Egypt but Egypt had not left them. In other words, because God's people were living in Egypt for hundreds of years, they were practically Egyptians in the inside. The diet, the culture, the way of thinking, the taste, everything of them was Egyptian by nature.

God did not intend to build another Egypt, did He? Then He must gain a different kind of people! A kind that would totally match what He is all about. In the Gospels, the heavens were opened immediately after Jesus went up from the water of His baptism, a voice out of the heavens said "This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight." There is only one Person in whom God has found His delight: Christ Himself. Thus the constitution (i.e., the makeup) of God's people must also be Christ and Christ only.

You may say that is rather strange. There are many of us Christians, how can God only desire one Person? Great question! Another way to phrase this question is how can all of us Christians, with all personalities and backgrounds, be one? After all there is only one Body of Christ!

The best we could do as human beings is to create some kind of unified body based on commonalities and tolerance like the United Nations, the United States, or any kind of body/organization/institution/association out there. But God's way is to change our diet (i.e., what we habitually eat) so that we would be reconstituted from within: from the Egyptian makeup to the Christly buildup

God's way to deal with our flesh is to reconstitute our being with His Son. That is why Christ came down out of heavens to be Bread to us! When we open the Bible and eat His Word, the words which He has spoken to us must become spirit and life to us! That means instead of reading it like a newspaper or textbook, we must spend time to contact the Lord in His Word and give Him the free way and the room to touch our inner being and minister Himself into all the crevices of our hearts until He becomes the very fiber of our person. What we eat becomes who we are. 

God is taking the way of life, the way of eating, the way of enjoying and experiencing Christ in a very intimate and subjective way to ultimately fulfill His purpose to gain a people as described in 1 Peter 2:9,
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
Praise Him! Our wise God takes the way of eating Jesus to solve the problem of His people's constitution. May we all take His way.   


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