Manna or Maggots? Your Choice.

This past week has been immersed in scriptures relating to God providing manna for the Israelites. The incident has appeared in Sunday school lesson, youth group Bible Studies, and in my personal time with God. I can’t imagine being totally displaced like the Israelites were. No homes. No food. No comforts at all. And, since they were in the desert, sand in all their unmentionable places! YUCK!

Then God does something big. He provides food in an amazing way! Quails swarm in the evening time, and bread lying on the ground each morning. Food. Physical nourishment provided from seemingly nothing.

Wow.

Do you know that feeling? The feeling of not knowing where your next meal is going to come from? Checkbook sitting on zero. Credit cards maxed out. Savings account…wait, what savings account? You’re down below the bottom of the barrel. The proverbial, “doesn’t have two nickels to rub together” in reality. No gas money, no food money, no nothing. What do you do?

Most of us have been there a time or two. It’s an awful feeling–not being able to provide for your family. However, God is the God of miraculous solutions! And, when we trust Him, He comes through every time, right on time.

I can’t seem to move past the following verses from Exodus 16, though:

19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

God wanted the Israelites to depend on Him daily. He asked them not to store any extra food. They could eat their fill, but save none. What would we do? Leave perfectly good food on the ground or put it in the frig?

The Israelites were like a lot of us, and couldn’t stand the idea of good food wasting especially when they had just been afraid they would starve to death. Food in excess meant food to put back for future lean times. What in the world could be wrong with preparing for their future?

God asked them not to. That’s what was wrong with their plan. Their reserved food rotted immediately! It had MAGGOTS and stunk up the entire area. GROSS!!!!!!!

I’m stuck here. God allowed the food to become absolutely disgusting immediately. Why?

The Israelites saw that manna as security. If they had food, they could survive. They were holding onto that food as a promise of tomorrow. The food God provided had become a replacement for God.

And what does this have to do with me?

I have to ask myself, what am I hoarding? What am I storing up that is keeping me from relying solely on God? God provided that manna for the Israelites for forty years. Forty years! He gave them daily bread from seemingly nothing, six days a week, for FORTY YEARS!

If God can feed an entire population daily from nothing, what isn’t He able to provide for us? He already made everything. Who are we to doubt His provisions? Who are we to hoard, store up, and hide away? Are the things we’re holding on to not gathering maggots and stinking up our lives?

Is it time to let go? Time to take the focus off of our physical security because He already holds our spiritual and physical security in His hands?

I need to let go and let God. What about you? Are you storing up instead of trusting?

Abba Father, open my eyes to things in my life I need to let go of. Clearly illuminate the things I put my trust in. Help me to purge these items from my life and to put my focus back on You. I realize I need to let go of this false sense of security. I need to rest in Your security. I believe that You are the sustainer of life and that You alone can meet all of my needs. Lord, I want to become reliant on You, and only You. Amen.

2 comments

  • A lesson I learned…A few months back, near Christmas time I think; I had $20 in my pocket at church and no money in the bank but was expecting the work Monday and be paid so I would have the money in the bank then. So I thought, what if I need this $20 later today, I can’t put it in the basket so I wrote a check (thinking the money would be there the next day and the check would be fine). The customer cancelled so the bank ended up paying the check that I wrote to the church thankfully but I got charged an extra $35 for over drafting. And I still had that $20 in my pocket that I was so afraid of giving away. Moral: I should if gave the $20, I ended up giving $20 to the church and $35 to the bank. I would have rather given the full $55 to the church. Trust God to provide for what you need always.

    • I think many of us have been there at some point in time. God knows our needs. When we trust Him to provide we find ourselves in the middle of blessings, but when we start rationalizing we find ourselves in the middle of a mess!