It is easy for us to become comfortable with manna. After all, manna is a gift from God. Yet, unlike inheritance, manna is not meant to last from season to season…
But what does this mean for our giving? How does this realization affect Israel?
What is Manna?
In the Word of God, manna is mentioned as the sustenance God gave to the Children of Israel from almost as soon as they left Egypt—the Exodus—up until they had crossed over into the Promised Land; a period of 40 years. Manna is usually described as a thin, sweet wafer, about as fine as frost and almost like white coriander seeds in appearance but with a honey wafer taste.
Unlike other foods, manna had a very short lifespan… It would appear in the morning and be gone by the end of the day, either melting in the sun or going bad when kept overnight. There were two notable exceptions to this lifespan of the manna. One was related to the Sabbath, where the day prior, twice as much manna was collected—as ordered by God—and would last through the end of the Sabbath. The other relates to an omer of manna that was put in a pot before the Lord, which did not turn or change in any way.
Manna was a beautiful gift from God to His children that is remembered to this day, yet, have we ever prayed for manna? Have we desired manna? And if so, was it the right season to want manna?
Yes, the Children of Israel wanted and needed food, and manna was God’s primary choice for that season of time, but it is not meant for every season. It is a temporary thing, meant for transitions, not as our promise!
The Children of Israel would have eaten the manna for probably no more than a few weeks or months had they obeyed and trusted in the Lord. For God had promised them a new land—a Promised Land—that would be flowing with milk and honey, and it was not far off. But when they received a bad report from ten of the twelve who had spied out that land, they allowed fear and not faith to lead them. They allowed the comfort and provision they had recently known—the manna—to be a safety net to their inaction. And for the generation of Moses—except for the two spies who had faith—this meant that they would never get to see the promise. They would live on manna for the rest of their lives instead of accepting the new wine—the milk and honey—that the Promised Land would have provided.
They chose a temporary filler instead of their God-given inheritance!
What Does This Mean for Us?
As Believers who have been grafted into the covenant of Abraham, we have an inheritance set before us. However, like the Children of Israel—the seed of Abraham—we can choose to accept it or not.
Yes, Abraham’s seed eventually did receive their promise, but it was delayed an entire generation! How can we—like them—provide an inheritance for our children, or our children’s children when we refuse to accept the inheritance God has prepared for us? How can our ceiling become their floor if we refuse to enter the house?
Yes, we can survive and even to a certain extent thrive without entering into our promise, but why would we want to settle? Why would we take the temporary solution that only feeds us day by day when we can receive an inheritance that allows us to live AND give abundantly!? That allows us to do all God desires us to do!?
Will We Choose to Cross Over Into Promise?
We are meant to be a light to the world. We are meant not only to give, but to give generously… abundantly. But when we are not prospering… when we are not thriving and living in abundance… then we cannot give abundantly. We are limited not by our generosity or by God’s commands, but by our lack.
Yes, like the widow who gave all she had (see Mark 12 and Luke 21), we can still give what to our financial state is a great amount… but it was not the widow’s poverty alone that made her gift special. It was also what was in her heart. She was giving generously, trusting and honoring God. She was giving without desire for praise. She was giving out of love.
We have the ability to give in this same way no matter if we are living with abundance or getting by day by day. But what if we took that widow’s intent, her heart, and added to it from our God-given inheritance? What if we stopped living on manna when all that God has promised is waiting right before us? What if we, instead, live on the new wine, the fruit, the milk and honey, of the inheritance He has prepared?
How can we provoke those who do not know the fullness of God to jealousy if we are only scraping by? How can they see the light of God in what we do when we claim to be children of the Most High God but are lacking all good things?
Remember, Jesus said that if the parents of the world could provide love and good things to their children, how much more so God!? He has abundance ready for us, and like the Children of Israel we are given the choice to choose to cross over to our promise or not. We can choose to walk as king priests, as God’s beloved children, or not. The choice is ours, but it affects more than ourselves…
It affects our children.
It affects our children’s children.
It affects the poor, hungry, and lost.
It affects all those who would find God if we but crossed over.
Yes, God will love us and care for us even if we fail to cross over—for He did not let the Children of Israel die in the desert from hunger, thirst, or anything of that nature. But He does not want us to settle. He does not want us to turn down the beautiful gift He has laid before us.
It takes a little faith and a willingness to change and experience change. But the reward for us, for those around us, and even for our God—for He desires us to prosper—is great indeed!
What Does This Mean for Our Giving?
Just as we are meant to cross over into promise, to not live forever on manna, the same is true for all of God’s children—Jew and Gentile alike. But what does this mean for our giving? Why does this matter?
Well, for our giving it means that while there are times to provide manna to those who need it, it is not meant to be the sole gift we give. A Holocaust Survivor who is in their late 80’s or even in their 90’s or beyond may need manna brought to them directly, and the same may be true of a child or someone with medical issues. But what of lone soldiers? What of farmers? What of craftspeople?
A lone soldier, a farmer, a craftsperson typically work. And their work ideally brings in an income. But things happen. A lone soldier is not paid much, and does not necessarily have the time or energy to do other work on their days off. A farmer lives off the land, but when anti-Jewish and anti-Israel boycotts take away most of their sales, or firebombs and other attacks come against their crops, they do not always have the means to overcome. When a craftsperson who usually sells their wares to tourists (or to shops that sell to tourists), but tourism is closed down for months on end, they do not always have another way to feed their family or keep their business afloat.
These are the people who often need God’s promise for them rather than merely the temporary solution of manna. Not only so that they can build and grow for themselves, their families, and others… but so they can have purpose. So they can have hope and work!
If YOU would like to discover how you can help lone soldiers and farmers through the planting of olive trees and grapevines, you can visit HERE to learn more OR HERE to sponsor a tree or vine! If YOU would like to discover how buying Israeli-made products supports families and the nation of Israel, you can learn more HERE, OR you can buy products made in Israel HERE!