Background music attribution: The O’Neill Brothers Group, The Holly & The Ivy from Joyous Christmas Carols on Piano
The desert was an absolute mob scene.
God had delivered a people from slavery by many miraculous signs just one month prior. But there was much grumbling going on nonetheless.
That’s what you get from a mob of hungry people!
They were, as they say, hangry.
So God prepared bread, which came down from the heavenlies, to feed His people and meet their daily needs.
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions’ (Genesis 16:1-4).
On the dawn of that first morning, when the foreign substance rained down from heaven, they exclaimed of the flakes, “What is it?” And the name stuck. For the meaning of manna in Hebrew is just that, what is it.
God provided for the Israelites. Faithfully. Six days a week, every week, for 40 years (Exodus 16:35). Until the next generation crossed over into the promised land.
Our souls, too, hunger.
So, the very Bread of Life came down from heaven to satisfy that deep hunger that lies within us all.
Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’ (John 6:32-35).
It was God, the Father, who sent manna from heaven. And the Father, also, who sent Jesus, the True Bread from heaven.
One perishable. One imperishable.
People asked what of the holy bread from heaven, just as people asked who of the Holy Son of God. And, as manna satisfied the people’s physical hunger, Jesus satisfies completely and continually every spiritual hunger.
God has prepared with great care another Bread from Heaven, His Word—to sustain us in this desert wasteland. And Jesus, the Bread of Life, nourishes souls—to the Promised Land . . . and beyond.