Page 13 - September 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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not depend on seed time and harvest, for   of food is not aesthetic appeal; “He rained
        it was the “grain of heaven.” It arrived at   down on them manna to eat.” The true
        first light, “when the dew fell upon the   bread of heaven is no different: “Whoever
        camp,” and it never failed until it was   feeds on this bread will live forever.” Since
        supposed to – “the day after they ate the   we have reckoned ourselves dead to sin
        produce of the land.” This bread was a   and alive to God, our new diet consists of
        gift, and like every “good gift and every   the “living bread,” the only nutrient that
        perfect gift,” it was “from above.” The   will sustain us in this depleted land. Its
        Father who fed Israel with manna is the   simplicity and divine origin are not an end
        same heavenly Father who sustains us   in themselves; it must be eaten.
        today.
          Despite the fact that both have a divine   Its Necessary Complement
        origin, there is a difference between their   Not only did He give them manna for
        bread and ours. Of their bread it was   their hunger but also water for their thirst.
        written: “Your fathers ate the manna in   On this journey they first encountered
        the wilderness, and they died” (Joh 6:49).   water as an enemy. This foe was calmly
        But of ours it was said to come “down   pushed to one side as the Lord displayed
        from heaven, so that one may eat of it and   His complete control over the elements.
        not die” (v50). Many make the mistake in   However, a little further down the road,
        thinking that this is exclusively a reference   with dry throats and swollen tongues, they
        to life after death. However, eternal life   called out for water to slake their thirst.
        starts the moment you are born again.   The dehydration revealed the hatred in
        The promise that you will “live forever”   their hearts as they accused Moses of
        began its fulfillment when you believed.   bringing them into the wilderness “to
        Just as the substance of their sustenance   kill us and our children and our livestock
        changed when they entered the land, so,   with thirst” (Exo 17:3). The Lord, in His
        too, will ours change when we meet the   mercy,  provided  water  from the  most
        Lord in the air. At that event we will be   unlikely of fountainheads, a “flinty” rock.
        completely conformed to His likeness.   This event at Horeb sets the context for all
        But in contrast to the Israelites, our diet   future references to the Lord as a “rock”
        will not change. We will continue to feed   in Scripture. The clearest connection is
        on the true bread of heaven as we do here   made by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:4: “And
        below. Their manna sustained them until   all drank the same spiritual drink. For
        death. Our manna sustains us in time and   they drank from the spiritual Rock that
        will continue for all eternity.       followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”
                                              For Paul, the entire storyline of the OT
        Its Unique Purpose                    foreshadowed the Christ who was to
          “It is the bread the Lord has given you to   come. Therefore, the lesson we are to draw
        eat.” The point is so simple that it is often   from the reference is this: the Christ who
        overlooked.  The point of bread is to eat   sustained Israel during their pilgrimage is
        it. It is currently popular to etch intricate   the same one who sustains us during ours.
        designs into the surface of homemade    “Forty years you sustained them in the
        bread. No doubt this is a fun hobby for   wilderness, and they lacked nothing”
        some, but the point stands – the purpose   (Neh 9:21).

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