Don’t you love recipes that are so simple that you can easily memorize them?
The ingredients list isn’t too long, and the items are probably measured in even cups or teaspoons, not fractions.
You’ve made the dish so often that the instructions are now fixed in your head. You don’t have to go rifling through your recipe box or searching your online files to find the recipe.
Even years later, you can still bring the recipe to mind and whip up the dish reliably.
You’ll never forget it.
There are things that God will never forget, either.
I heard a pastor say that “God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.”
God still remembers how to cook up whatever you need and get it to you!
Perhaps you remember reading about manna in the Bible. It’s the food that God miraculously provided to the children of Israel when they were wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Each night the manna fell like dew on the ground; it was flake-like and as fine as frost.
“It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” (Exodus 16:31b)
God told the people to collect it fresh six days a week, gathering extra on the last day so they wouldn’t have to work on the Sabbath. They ground the manna into flour, then made it into flat cakes or pastries.
We’re not sure what manna tasted like, but it must have had the right proportion of protein, carbs, fat, calories, vitamins and minerals to keep the children of Israel alive in the desert for 40 years. It was the perfect food!
In fact, the Bible describes it as “the food of angels”:
“…He rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate the bread of angels.” (Psalm 78:24-5)
What does all this teach us?
First, that God can provide for us when circumstances prevent us from doing so ourselves. If we’re in a crisis situation and are relying on God, He isn’t going to leave us in dire straits. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.
Second, God will come to our assistance when we’re in need, but as He provides He sometimes also teaches us something important. In the way He provided the manna, God set a pattern for keeping the Sabbath, which the Israelites were expected to learn and follow.
Third, He expected the people to contribute to their own welfare by putting in some work. He didn’t rain down ready-made cheeseburgers from the sky for them! They had to grind the grain-like manna and cook it themselves.
Fourth, the provision of manna lasted as long as the children of Israel needed it: until they entered the Promised Land and could eat of its produce. God is indicating that the temporary provision He gives us here on earth points to something more important: the eternal, spiritual nourishment He provides through the life-giving work of His Son, Jesus.
Jesus told the Jewish people of His day:
“I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.’ (John 6:30-36 NLT)
God hasn’t forgotten how to provide us with what we need. We can rely on Him to sustain us our whole lives.
Most importantly, He has provided Christ to be the bread of life for us, now and eternally.
God hasn’t forgotten the recipe for manna!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.