There are many pictures in the Bible of the Lord Jesus Christ in type and symbol, but none are any clearer than the "manna" that is mentioned here in Exodus 16. There are some things about the manna that do not compare to the Lord Jesus Christ; for instance, consider the following:
The manna fed the outward man but Christ feeds the inward man.
Manna was eaten by all the Israelites and some were wicked, but you do not eat of Christ unless you are living holy.
Manna could corrupt but not so of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Manna could only be found at certain times, early in the morning, but Christ is always found by those who seek Him in the right way.
Many who ate of the manna in the wilderness died, but all who eat of Christ live forever.
After Israel left Elim, they encamped by the Red Sea. Then they came into what is called the "Wilderness of Sin." God took them out of the place of bondage in Egypt, and some of they wanted back. God had sheltered them under the blood and now they wanted back. They were ready to leave redemption ground and go back to bondage and slavery.
God manifested great patience and love toward them. They deserved nothing but death for their attitude and rebellious spirit toward the will of God, but God willed to show mercy and kindness to them.
To minister to their physical needs, God sent something called "manna" down early in the morning to give them strength for their "forty year" journey in the wilderness. It was a "miracle of God" that bread came down out of heaven for them to eat.
There was enough of it which fell to feed hundreds of thousands and still last for forty years. Heaven ministered to their needs. God will do the same thing for his church in the 20th century.
This was a genuine miracle of the Lord. Liberals have tried to explain it away by seeking to explain it in a natural way. They claim there was a tree found in certain parts of the desert, which is an eatable gum, and that at times falls to the ground in small cakes. If the humanist were right, how did they find enough trees in the wilderness to feed all of the Israelites? I believe this miracle of the Bible.
The word "manna" means "what is this?" Many people read their Bibles and ask themselves the same question, "What is this?" I am going to share with you what I see in the manna.
I. THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE MANNA
The Bible tells us several things about the manna so we can somewhat identify it in our minds.
A. It Was Small-(v.14). The Bible speaks of it being identified in size like the coriander seed. It had little seeds about the size of a pearl. Because it was small did not mean it was not significant.
This speaks of the humility of Christ. The first time he did not come in pomp and glory, but according to Phillipians 2:7-8, "Made Himself of no reputation, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in the fashion of a man, he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Christ not only became a baby, born in a manger, He also became a servant.
B. It Was Round(v.14).
If you carefully study your Bible you will find that a circle speaks of eternity, for it has no beginning and ending.
Note: Rings are give in a marriage ceremony from both bride and groom not only to express their love but also to testify to the permanence of their marriage relationship.
Jesus Christ the Son of God, has no beginning or ending of days. Only his human form began when he was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary.
Christ is comepared in the Bible to Melchisedek, who had no recorded beginning or ending of days (Heb.7:3). Jesus said, "Before Abraham was I am," and He also said, "I am He that was dead but am alive forevermore." Christ is eternal.
C. It Was White (v.31).
The little wafers were white. White in the Bible is the color of righteousness or purity. In the Book of the Revelation, the church is seen as being adorned in "robes of white." It says three times the church in heaven is clothed with "white robes" (Rev. 6:11; 7:9,13).
A bride is normally dressed in a "white" wedding gown.
White speaks of the righteousness and holiness of Christ.
In 1Peter 1:19 Jesus is called, "A lamb without blemish and without spot."
Christ never sinned. Even though He took on humanity in the incarnation, it different in a sense than our humanity for Christ was sinless humanity. It was not possible that He could sin because he was God in the flesh.
Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him" (Jn. 19:6).
D. It Was Sweet (v.31).
The manna was sweet. It was nothing like a green persimmon. There is a sweetness in Christ that you cannot find anywhere else.
The Bible says in Ps. 34:8, "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." The Jews did not enjoy the taste of the manna as they should, because they had their minds on the leeks and garlic of Egypt. Instead of being satisfied with the manna, they ground it, beat it, and baked it.
You simply cannot improve on the Lord Jesus Christ. You do not have to attempt to add to Him, enjoy Him just like He is.
What the world has to give to you will be bitter and will grow stale and become worthless.
E. It Was Nourishing
The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years sustained by the nourishment of the manna.
It is a medical fact that swelling is a sign of malnutrition. Israel did not have that problem, because their feet did not swell as they walked and wandered in the wilderness. It was because adequate nutrition was supplied by the manna. It was better than the best of multiple vitamins.
This was a special bread, not like any other. It is called "angels food" in Psalms 78:25. That verse says, "Man did eat angels food; He sent them meat to the full." This was a highly nutritional food that did not cost the Israelites anything; it was free of charge. .
It is not wonder that Jesus said, "I am the bread of life."
All that we need for life and eternity is found in the Lord
Jesus Christ. Both the Living Word (Christ) and the written Word (the Bible) give us nourishment as we travel along lifes journey.
Ps 119:103 says, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth!"
F. It Was Unique
As far as we know the only literal physical manna that has ever fallen, came down during this forty year journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness. It never happened before and has not happened since. It was a unique kind of manna. Israel had always eaten bread, but not like this "manna" bread. It was unique (one of a kind, special).
Jesus is so unique in that he was as much man as He was God and as much God as He was man. He was 100% God and 100% man (without a sin nature) at the same time. There has never in all of eternity past just like Him.
We become sons of God when we are saved, but we do not become a Son of God in the very same sense that He is for He is the "only begotten Son of God."
II. THE CONDESCENSION OF THE MANNA
We have already seen an identification of the manna, now lets look at its coming down.
A. It Came Down From Heaven
They did not seek to import it from Egypt or produce it in the wilderness. It is something that God send down of His own accord. Israel was not praying for it. God knew they needed it, so he sent it down out of the sky.
Christ was not just another man. He was Gods only begotten Son, sent from heaven, to be food and bread for mans hungry heart.
I imagine it was a very unusual day in heaven when the Son of God came down to assume a human form. He was the darling of heaven and the delight of heaven, but He felt it necessary to come down that we might have a bread to eat of that would cause us to live forever.
In John 6:35 Jesus said, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
B. It Came Down At Night
The people gathered the manna first thing in the morning because it fell at night.
Jesus came when the world was in darkness. That is why He said, "I am the Light of the world" (Jn. 8:12). He shines in spite of the darkness of sin and ignorance.
The lost sinner is in darkness, according to 2 Cor. 4, but light of the gospel can shine it. Jesus can bring men out of darkness into his marvelous light.
C. It Came On The Dew(Num.11:9)
The dew kept the manna from being defiled by the earth. It was between the manna and the earth. God used the dew like a table-cloth on which the manna could fall.
That pictures the Holy Spirit in regard to the Lord Jesus. The Bible says in Lk.1:35, " The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
D. It Fell In The Wilderness.
It is not necessary to have "ideal" conditions for the manna to fall. This world is far from "ideal." It is full of wars and rumors of wars, hatred, strife, murder, thieves, and on and on the list could go.
It really dawns upon me occasionally when I look around at our sinful society, that we are not home yet. What a joy to have the Lord Jesus to make life worth living.
Christ came to a hostile world, that He knew would reject Him, that we might have life. What grace, grace marvelous grace!
E. It Came To Rebels (v.1-3).
They rebelled by murmuring against Moses and against God. Obviously, they had forgotten that God had sent them Moses. To speak against Moses, was to speak against the God who sent him- for he represented God to the people.
Those people longed for the fleshly diet of the old life but God, since He is merciful and full of grace, gave them bread.
God could have rained fire on them instead of bread, but no, God chose to reveal His love unto them. See Romans 5:8.
It has been calculated that to supply six pints (or an omer) of manna for two million people a day, it would have taken four freight trains of sixty cars each. Was God not generous to them?
F. It Came Down Where They Were.
They did not have to make a long journey to get to the manna. It was so accessible. It fell down all over the ground outside of their tents. They did not have to call Federal Express or find some truckers to haul it in. They did not have to go anywhere to get what they needed.. There were no mountains to climb or rivers to cross. It was just there.
Squire Parsons wrote, "When I could not go to where He was, He came to me."
I. THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE MANNA
III. THE APPROPRIATION OF THE MANNA
For the manna to serve its purpose it must be eaten or take for ones own use.
A. Sense of Need
We live in a world of unsatisfied spiritual hunger. God has put a vacuum in the heart of every person that only His Son can fill.
Until Jesus comes in there will be emptiness. You can party, have a big time, fleshly speaking and still be empty.
Many of the problems we have in this world today is because of an unsatisfied spiritual hunger in the hearts of men.
You will never go to Jesus until you see your need (Isa.64:6).
Isa. 55:2 says, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
B. Stooping of Knees
Verse 16 says, "And gather it every man."They had to bend over to pick it up for it was on the ground.
So many sinners will not admit they are sinners and bow in repentance and faith. Repentance is not just being sorry you were caught, but a genuine turning from sin unto God. It is a bring of self low that Jesus might be everything.
C. Separating For Yourself
The hungry Jews were not fed by admiring the manna, or looking at the manna, or even observing others eating it. They had to pick it up, take it from the rest, for themselves.
In Jn. 6 Jesus spoke of "eating his flesh and drinking His blood." He was not suggesting that they become cannibals, He was referring to a spiritual partaking.
That is vitally connected with the Word of God. When we take it in, we feast on Christ, who is the living Word of God.
D. Seeking Early (v.8 "in the morning")
When the son arose in the morning and it became hot, the manna became spoiled.
Isa. 55:6 says, "Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near." That implies there may be a day God cannot be found.
It was to late to collect manna after the sun arose and warmed the earth. One day the day of judgment will come for you and it will be too late.
Christians should seek God early in the day.
E. Sustained Seeking
I am going to say a word to Christians. You are not only saved, but you must feed on Christ to have strength for the journey. Ill. The Jews feed on the Passover lamb.
Fresh food must be gathered every day. Cannot live on yesterdays blessings. Must have something fresh ever day.
1- Gathering manna was a test of their obedience. (V.4)
2- Manna was their all during the wilderness journey. It did not stop until they reached Gilgal.
3- Christ is the one to which the manna points.
Do you know Him?
Sermon from Dr. Tom Walker