Manna From Heaven

The first time I heard the passage (From Exodus) about manna, I must admit I had a hard time understanding it. Oh, I had no difficulty believing that God sent it. I had no problem understanding the concept. What I did have problems with were the Hebrews who were not satisfied with it.

I mean, how can someone complain about food you don’t have to hunt or farm. You simply wake each morning and pick it up. As near as I can tell it was about the most perfect food ever was. You could simply pick it up off the ground and eat it raw. You could cook it just about any imaginable way and it still tasted good. Moreover, as near as I can tell, it provided every nutritional need for man.

And the Hebrews complained about it? They did. You can read the account yourself. In fact I wish you would. It just might do you some good.

Now that I am in my early 70s, I have learned a thing about the human race. We love to complain, especially when things are going good. I saw this even more when I was in the Marines. They fed us good three times a day and people complained.

Okay. I will agree, sometimes things weren’t the best, but it was good nutritious food. I guess I did complain a few times. One time, I cut into a pancake and that wasn’t done. No one’s perfect. I called it to the attention of the cook and he made me three more pancakes and they were perfect, though the cook did not seem to like my complaint.

Nonetheless, over the years, I told myself that I would have never complained about manna from God. I mean that is stupid. However, the older I get the more I realize I just might have been a complainer. I don’t really know. I guess, until we are put in those conditions we simply do not know.

The thing here is the broader lesson. Most of us, even good Christians become dissatisfied with the position we are in. Specifically, we don’t like what God has provided for us. Now that is stupid. Yet, I myself have caught myself complaining about the provisions of God. It is simply in our nature, the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. To some degree, we can’t help it, although we make a conscience decision to complain about the gifts God gives us.

Every day, I eat generally twice. Before I eat, I try to thank God. Most of the time I do. Sometimes I forget. Yet, God keeps providing for me, though I do not deserve any of it. I don’t want to make myself higher than any other, but I have noticed that most people, even Christians do not take a few seconds to say a few words of appreciation before eating or after receiving heavenly gifts. Many times, when we mumble the words of thanks, our hearts are not in it. I am ashamed of myself. Many times I catch myself thoughtlessly going through the motions, even to the point that the words run together.

So. Just how many of us would complain if we were provided, every morning with all the perfect food we can eat. I don’t know but I would guess, eventually, all of us. I hate to admit it, but it is in my nature. I suspect it is in yours too.

One of the reasons we complain is that our relation with God is not right. For if our relation is truly right, we would be satisfied, though we have nothing. If our relationship is not right, we will never be satisfied, though we live in mansions and drive nice expensive cars.

So, whenever you feel like complaining, you just might try getting right with God. I guess that goes for me too.

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