Page 12 - September 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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“       ou gave your good Spirit to instruct   context  when  we  read  of  “the  hidden
                                              manna” which was promised “to the one
              them and did not withhold your
        Ymanna from their mouth and gave      who conquers” (Rev 2:17).
        them water for their thirst” (Neh 9:20).    However, the most common idea is
                                        1
          Manna is referred to in many parts of   bread as sustenance. With the exception
        Scripture, but what exactly was it? The   of Paul, who favours the symbolic sense,
        Israelites had the same question,  “for   the NT writers highlight its sustaining
        they did not know what it was.” In fact,   effect. The mere existence of bread ought
        the Hebrew name they gave it translates   to remind us of our God who “has filled
        to “What is it?” The answer Moses gave   the hungry with good things” (Luk 1:53).
        them is the most comprehensive definition   Though it is made with human hands,
        I have heard, “It is the bread that the Lord   there is no dough without grain, and no
        has given you to eat” (Exo 16:15). In just a   grain without the rain.
        few words Moses told them of its simple
        character, its divine origin and its unique   Its Divine Origin
        purpose.
                                                The bread which Moses spoke of
        Its Simple Character                  was different. Its appearance was “like
          As a result of lockdown orders in   coriander seed,” “like that of bdellium.”
                                              It was a white, fine, flake-like thing, “fine
        many parts of the world, the art of   as the frost on the ground.” It tasted “like
        sourdough bread-making has skyrocketed   wafers made with honey,” or like “cakes
        in popularity. The fad has spread to such   baked with oil.” The little substance was
        a degree that in certain areas there is a   easily gathered, ground or beaten, and
        scarcity of flour. Part of the appeal is the   even boiled to “make cakes of it,” and
        idea of  “reconnecting” with the past,   if left alone “it melted.” If that wasn’t
        before “quick yeast” and mass-produced
        “bleached” loaves. But bread has always   enough sensory information, we are even
        been ubiquitous. It has taken different   told of its odour when gathered and left
        forms in different cultures, but almost   unused: “it bred worms and stank.”
        always remains an irreplaceable part of   There is another quality, however, which
        the diet. It also appears extensively in the   was most pertinent to their habitation
        Scriptures. We read of it symbolically to   in this inhospitable wasteland: it was
        convey the idea of fellowship: “The bread   abundant. The psalmist said the Lord
        that we break, is it not a participation in the   “rained down on them manna ... he sent
        body of Christ?” (1Co 10:16). The symbol   them food in abundance” (Psa 78:24-25).
        is  even  extended  to  an  eschatological   As a foreshadowing of the “true bread
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   from heaven,” there was enough and
        the ESV.                              more for all. This particular wheat did

        268 TRUTH kTidings   September  2020
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