Wednesday’s Word: Manna

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Moses said to them, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs…” “…No one is to keep any of it for tomorrow.” But some of them did not listen to Moses and saved part of it. The next morning it was full of worms and smelled rotten… Exodus 16: 15-16; 19-20

 

During their time in the desert, the Hebrew exiles were incapable of taking care of themselves. They were completely dependent on God’s providence. But once He provided for them, they couldn’t resist taking matters into their own hands, trying to save a little extra, as insurance. Their leftovers turned putrid. Isn’t that what happens to us when we try to stock up or take matters into our own hands to make sure we have enough?

 

We love to feel secure. It’s part of the human condition. But so often, grasping at security leads to problems. We trust ourselves, or money, or talent, or who we know or what we know. With so many tangible supports around us, it’s so easy to trust what we can see to give us the sense of security we all crave, but the eternal God is the only constant that will not let us down. Circumstances beyond our control can take away our health, careers, the people we lean on, or anything we rely on for security. Just ask those who trusted their bankroll to Wall Street, or those whose homes were swept away by hurricanes, fires, mudslides. Yet life goes on.

 

God sustains us, but we can’t stock up on His grace. We need to receive it on a daily basis. If we try to get ahead of God’s grace we lose touch with the constant flow of His sustaining love. Then it is not God we are relying on, but our own ability to squirrel away spiritual blessings. Hoarding spiritual blessings or being stingy with how we share those gifts with others is not what God had in mind. The same God that got us through yesterday and the day before is with us now and will be with us when tomorrow becomes our now.

 

Let’s not rely on leftovers. Let’s rely on God to give us the strength we need to sustain us today.

 

Prayer:  Father, give us today our daily bread.

 

Reflection for sharing: What makes you feel secure? Can you trace that back to God’s providence?

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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