Israel had a common problem. They needed food to eat and they were getting pretty upset about it. “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” Exodus 16:2-3
After all God did for them up to that point they still lacked faith and acted as if God would abandon them halfway to the promised land and let them die, but that was not God’s plan. ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.’” Exodus 16:4-5
Sometimes we complain about God not providing for us when we don’t know how God is going to work. Just because we don’t see God currently working doesn’t mean that God isn’t. At times like this we need to remember how God as worked and provided for us in the past and have faith that God will continue to do so in the future. That maybe why God didn’t just give Israel enough bread to last the trip all at once and instead trained Israel to depend on Him continually and trust God to provide for every day. We often forget and fail to build our faith from past experiences and when God does work we do not recognize it.
However, “When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. ‘What is it?’ they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, ‘It is the food the Lord has given you to eat’… And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” Exodus 16:14-31. Sometimes when God answers our prayers we are tempted to question the Lord’s methods. Like them we may not recognize God’s provision when it does not take the form we expect.
It is reasonable for them to be surprised I supposed because when we think of bread we are not always expecting a fine flaky food. But when we pray for something God’s version of what is in our best interest may not be what we had in mind. “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9. Sometimes the things God uses to nourish us are unrecognizable at the time. We need to trust God and remember not to lose hope because we don’t understand how or when God will provide for us. And we need to be open to accepting the way God works for us even if we don’t know what it is. We can trust that even if God’s ways seem strange like the manna in the end it will be sweet.
Picture originally found here