Food from Heaven
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” - Exodus 16:4–5
So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp. And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’ ”
Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. - Exodus 16:13–18
In August 2020, residents of Olten, Switzerland, were startled to find that it was snowing chocolate! A malfunction in the ventilation system of the local chocolate factory had caused chocolate particles to be diffused into the air. As a result, a dusting of edible chocolate flakes covered cars and streets and made the whole town smell like a candy store.
When I think of delicious food “magically” falling from the heavens, I can’t help but think of God’s provision for the people of Israel in Exodus. Following their dramatic escape from Egypt, the people faced significant challenges in the desert, especially a scarcity of food and water. And God, moved by the plight of the people, promised to “rain down bread from heaven” (Exodus 16:4). The next morning, a layer of thin flakes appeared on the desert ground. This daily provision, known as manna, continued for the next forty years.
Scholars have attempted to explain the source of manna that fed Israel during the exodus from Egypt. Some have theorized that it was the product of tamarisk bushes that grow in the Sinai region. But this isn’t likely. Such desert plants are insufficient in number to have fed an entire nation. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible reports another theory, suggesting that manna may have been a type of insect secretion. Regardless of how the manna appeared, the fact remains that God said, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4).
When Jesus came to earth, people began to believe He was sent from God when He miraculously provided bread for a large crowd (John 6:5–14). But Jesus taught that He Himself was the “bread of life” (v. 35), sent to bring not just temporary nourishment but eternal life (v. 51).
For those of us hungry for spiritual nourishment, Jesus extends the offer of unending life with God. May we believe and trust that He came to satisfy those deepest longings.
The devotional message, “Food from Heaven”, was written by Mrs. Lisa M. Samra, and appeared in “Our Daily Bread”, www.odb.org, May 19, 2022. Used here with permission from the website.