二○一八年九月一日／九月二日 Click here for English version
The Hidden Manna
Rev Gordon Siu
The Book of Exodus tells us that out in the wilderness, the Israelites could not find food by themselves. God rained down bread from heaven to meet their needs. They were to go out each day to gather enough for that day. No one was to keep any of it until the morning, otherwise what remained would melt away. On the sixth day, however, they were to bring in twice as much as they gathered on the other days. What remained on that day would not stink nor get maggots in it. This way, the Israelites could observe Sabbath on the seventh day.
The Heavenly Father is happy to provide us with a lot of things, but He all the more wants us to learn to follow His commands in everything that we do. He knows that "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Therefore, the Israelites were 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" (Exodus 16:4).
In making a living, some of us are allowed to earn a lot while some others can only earn enough for one month. The important thing is to know that nobody earns anything other than what God would give. Some Israelites disobeyed God and gathered more than what was needed for one day. In the end, what was left was maggots and food that began to smell. They have also offended God. Some other Israelites, after getting an extra portion of manna on the sixth day, went out again on the seventh day. They could have taken a rest and got close to the Lord. But they wanted more. Their efforts proved futile: "Some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none." God was displeased, but He still exhorted the Israelites to rely on His daily provision. He bore with them for 40 years to let them learn how to obey Him every day.
Real bread is not the material manna. The Lord said, "I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die" (John 6:48-50). Thus the Lord commanded us: "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life" (John 6:27). Dear brothers and sisters, let us make an effort to pursue God and obtain the "real bread" that gives life. Let us not be satisfied with earthly manna alone. How do we proceed? Study His Word. Meditate on and obey His Word. Thus the Lord said: "The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life" (John 6:63).
Said the One with a sharp double-edged sword: "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna" (Revelations 2:17a).