Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Despising the Manna

Pastor Bickel preached from Deuteronomy 8 on Sunday.  He was talking about the way in which God leads us, and the provision with which He feeds us.  Verses2-3 say,

Deuteronomy 8:2-3  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.  3 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.

I have been thinking about the Children of Israel and their Manna.  Their “what is it” was God’s heavenly provision for their need at that time.  It lasted until He gave them a new provision – the Promised Land…victorious Christian living.

What did they do with the Manna?  They were thankful for a while.  Then they complained and wanted meat.  God gave them their desire but sent leanness to their soul (Ps. 106:15).  The meat was okay…for a while.  Then they remembered the leeks and the onions and the fish in Egypt.  God’s provision wasn’t good enough anymore.

I think I have been guilty of the same attitude.  God has provided for us every step of the way since we moved to NYC in June 2010.  We never had enough money to pay all of the bills, but they all got paid, and on time.  God always sent His Manna from unexpected sources, and right when we needed it.  It was there when the sun came up.

But I think I’ve been complaining.  I’ve been viewing God’s Manna as not enough…anymore.  I have said to Ben several times that I am not asking for an extravagant lifestyle.  I just want to be able to pay the bills and afford food (and maybe even dining out once in a while).  It never occurred to me that maybe God didn’t want to provide a lifestyle where we could always afford the bills.  The food.  The entertainment when we wanted.  Maybe He wanted us to run short every month.  It taught us to depend on Him.

Recently we have mentioned our salary in Virginia Beach upon several occasions.  I think we have been remembering the leeks and onions, and it has caused us to despise the Manna – God’s provision for right now.

I read Jeremiah 7-8 this morning.  God is pronouncing judgment on His wayward people.  They were a people that took what God had given and used it to serve other gods.  Then they came to stand before God and expected Him to bless what they were wickedly doing in His Holy House.  God was disgusted with their sin. With their hypocrisy (7:9-11).  With their inability to blush as their rank sin (8:12).  He was so outraged that He didn’t even want anyone to pray for His people, because He would turn a deaf ear to those prayers (7:16).  They had provoked Him to anger and brought this harm upon themselves (7:19).  All He wanted was obedience (7:23).

I don’t want to be like Israel.  I want to be thankful for the Manna today.  I want to bask in the awesomeness of God’s provision for me.  Not always in abundance, but always when I need it.  I have questioned before Psalm 36:7-9 saying “Where is my fatness and abundance?  Why doesn’t God give that to me?”  But He has given it.  Every time He pours out a blessing from His heavenly store it is good, and fat, and in abundance, because it came from Him.  He knows my needs and He sees beyond my limited vision to know what is best for me.

Despise not the Manna of today.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11

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