Saturday, November 17, 2007
Perfectly Portioned Provision
This morning I wanted to simply sit on my front porch and read an Old Testament account. I was thinking of the story of the manna, so I ended up in Exodus 15 and 16. Of course the main point here is that the Lord provides, no matter what the circumstance. I don't think that it's a big stretch to assume that we've all been in the wilderness. At some point in our lives, whether it be for a week or for what we'd deem an extended season, wilderness experiences are unavoidable.
In chapter 16, the manna shows up after God parts the Red Sea in order for the Israelites to cross over into safety, which, by the way, we fly by so quickly, as if it's just some Sunday School fable of old that is more fiction than fact. Have you ever really stopped and thought about what this event must have been like? He parted a sea, people! A sea… parted! (Perhaps some other time we can go into the fact that the Word actually states that the Lord told Moses to "Stretch out HIS hand over the sea and divide it".) God Himself chose to work a miracle of deliverance on dry, barren land. But oh, when the water came, the enemy was destroyed and God's people were set free!
We then find them grumbling about the lack of water, so the Lord provides. Then they became hungry, as I assume they became weary of eating the fruit from the seventy palm trees, and they grumbled some more. So "the bread of Heaven" arrives. Interestingly enough, God never said that He sent them the manna because they were hungry. He said He caused the bread to rain down from Heaven in order to "test them and see if they'd walk in His instruction". The manna appeared as the dew evaporated. It rested "on the surface of the wilderness". Amongst the dead, dry, barren land, God strategically placed life-sustaining bread from Heaven.
Just as the command of the Lord regarding the manna stresses (16:16), we must eat of His provision TODAY. We can't leave it lying out in the hot sun or it too will melt away. We can't leave it for later or else it to might "become foul" (16:20). Each day He gives us EXACTLY what we need. Are you thirsty? He desires to turn your bitter waters into sweet rivers of life. Are you hungry? Eat of the food from Heaven that He has provided. Are you in a wilderness? Choose today to look for the life-giving food that He has provided for you, even if it's on the surface of the wilderness that you're currently walking through. Just as the Lord provided enough bread for two days in advance, to prepare them for the Sabbath, He likewise knows what you will need, even for tomorrow. He has ALL in perfect order and control. May we learn to turn our grumbling into praise. All that we experience – it all has to be about His glory, no matter what. Whether we understand it or not. Whether we can explain it or not. Whether it hurts beyond comprehension or not, the Lord must be praised and glorified. Drink today. Eat today. His provision is ALWAYS perfectly portioned and will sustain you in your time of need.