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What is this?

Has anyone ever given you something and the very first thing out of your mouth was, “What is this?” This happed to the children of Israel. You may be familiar with this story. The Israelites had just been brought out of Egypt; it was a time of slavery, a very difficult season in their lives. They found themselves in the wilderness in need of food, when out of nowhere comes this white substance.  Exodus 16:31 says, “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” They called the bread “Manna.”  The Hebrew word used here for “manna” was a compound word established from two words. The first was the word “man” meaning “what.” In fact, it is known as a interrogative what, implying a question. The second was the word “huw” which is used for the word “this.” So, when you combine the two words together, it is literally translated “what is this?”  The reason they said this was because they had never seen it before. This was the first time they had seen this “white stuff.”  Deuteronomy 8:3 says,  “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  Notice it says that God fed them with manna, which they, nor their fathers had ever known. They never knew it, because they had never seen it before. But what was this stuff called “Manna?” It was the provision of God! It was God meeting their need. It was God’s answer to their problem. Yet, their reply was, “What is this?”  Why?  Could it be it was because it came in a way and form unfamiliar to them?  Could it be they just did not see it for what it was? I remain intrigued by the fact that the Israelites called it manna, not God. They name it, “what is it?, God didn’t. How many times do we name something for God? Have you ever rejected something from God because it didn’t come the way you envisioned?  The Israelites did just that.  In fact, after a while what God had provided was not even good enough, so they complained and asked for something different.

You may ask, what is so important about this? It is important, because the lesson for them remains true for us today. God’s provision often comes in ways and forms you may not understand, nor have you seen or experienced before, but will you receive it. You may have lost your job, struggling with your health, depressed and wondering if anyone cares. But He does!  He sees your need in your “wilderness” experience, just like he did the Israelites and He will provide. He will just probably do it in a way you do not understand. In fact, your current situation, as difficult as it may seem, may just be what is needed for you to trust Him and not yourself.  It is no secret, we as a people and nation are facing some challenging financial times, but God is still our provider.  We must not put God in a box, nor complain about what he has provided. We must continue to look to Him as our provider.

Notice the end of verse 3 in Deuteronomy!  God did this to “teach you that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. In essence, He did this so that they would trust God not only for their food, but for every area of their lives.  How about you, will you do that today?  Will you give him every area of your live.  Will trust Him  with your money, your marriage, your children, your worries?  The test is to trust Him with everything we are and everything we possess. We must learn not rely on own thoughts or ideas about how He provides for or every need.  May I leave you with one more set of verses that encourage and also challenge us all in this principle.
Prov 3:5-10

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.  – NIV

In His Love and Service,
Pastor Craig

Pastor Craig Carter
North Kent Community Church
1480 Indian Lakes Rd., Sparta, MI
Church Office #887-2478
Service Time: Sunday’s @ 10:00am –
Nursery & Children’s Ministry provided.

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