“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Heaven’s corn (Psalm 78:24) supplied to Israel during their wilderness experience was a mighty miracle of God’s provision to sustain them along the way. This supernatural act was so important that God commanded a portion of the manna to be preserved within their holiest possession, the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:34). It stood as an emblem of Israel’s continued dependence on God and His ability to provide. Yet, as the above passage reveals, God purposed a greater divine truth to be showcased through their immediate need. Spiritually, we need the Word of God like our body needs food.
Try to define the word “live” as used in this scripture verse. While appreciating the value of survival, we would agree it implies a more robust existence beyond maintaining a pulse. Nephi tells us in the Book of Mormon, “I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way…Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:1,3). We are directed to understand the fullness that the Word of God should provide in our daily life. The byproduct should leave us feeling satisfied, strengthened, and confident to endure.
In referencing Israel’s journey, the Apostle Paul tells us God provided it to be an example to us today to ensure our success (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). Below is a brief review of Israel’s manna experience to see how it all went down (literally, it fell from heaven). I pray these simple considerations encourage you in your appetite for God’s Word.
The Manna Experience (Exodus 16)
Heaven Delivers Daily: God provided new manna each morning for Israel. How many times has a scripture verse revealed different things to you at different times in your life? His mercies are renewed every morning, and He is diligent with great care to provide exactly what we need.
See It for What It Really Is: Moses promised Israel that they would see the glory of God, but in the morning, they were unsure about the “small round thing” on the ground. Perhaps they imagined a different scenario in their heart, and Moses had to confirm to them, “This is the bread the Lord hath given you to eat.” Sometimes it is easy to overlook the impact a simple task such as reading God’s Word can have in our daily life. We must not be dismissive of the value and nourishment that opening the scripture provides.
Go Out and Get the Bread: God commanded Israel to go and gather the bread He provided. Action was required so He could “prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” What a good reminder that we must do our part to give God the opportunity to bless our life. Be motivated in taking responsibility to secure time to read God’s Word, remembering He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
God’s Perfect Portion: The Lord commanded one Omer (between 2 and 4 liters) as the rationed amount per person to be gathered. With God’s guideline in mind, some gathered much and some gathered little, but when returned and measured, everyone’s portion meted out perfectly. We should be inspired to know that when genuine effort is applied, whatever time we can afford to be in the Word, God can make the right portion to sustain us. We must seize our opportunities, trusting God’s promise that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).
No Leftovers: Israel had to eat their daily portion and couldn’t store up any manna for the next day (except for the Sabbath). God was not only challenging Israel’s faith with this requirement, but He was also teaching them not to waste what He provided. This daily process kept Israel close, dependent, and hungry. It is no different for us today. When applied to scripture study, a steady regimen provides constant reminding of where our blessings come from and that God is ever-present and active in our lives.
As you delve into the Word, know that God rewards a clean plate with second helpings,
“For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have” (2 Nephi 28:30).
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.