Israel has been on their way for 6 weeks, v. 1.
The materials for making bread, which they had brought with them were exhausted. Now they had no bread.
v. 2 “The whole congregation murmured,” etc.
This is a bit of a shock, that a people so recently delivered by blood, led through the Red Sea, relieved by the bitter waters made sweet, and refreshed at Elim, could believe that their God had led them out of Egypt to die of hunger and thirst in the wilderness, v. 3.
We cannot understand this until we look into our own heart.
There was no help for them but in God.
He supplied their need, 1. Not because of their murmuring, 2. Not because they deserved it, 3. But because He loved them.
v. 4 “He rained bread from heaven upon them.”
The manna was heavenly in origin; it was not manufactured by man.
It was a gift from God, a type of the Lord Jesus, Isaiah 9:6, John 6.
Many have tried to explain away the supernatural nature of manna. It grew on trees, they say.
v. 16 tells us that every man had to gather an omer of manna.
Taking conservative estimates of the number of Israelites at 2,000,000, what this means is (an omer is six pints) the daily consumption of manna would be 12,000,000 pints or 9,000,000 pounds, or 4,500 tons.
Over 1,000,000 tons of manna were gathered annually.
This continued for the 40 years they were in the wilderness.
40,000,000 tons. Growing on trees?
He is incomparable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, inscrutable Christ.
Each man had to gather the manna according to his eating, v.16.
This was necessary for the Israelites to live.
Jesus Christ is the believer’s manna and he must eat to live.
v. 14 The manna was small and round.
It was an insignificant thing lying on the face of the wilderness.
The Lord Jesus appeared among men unknown and unnamed.
Like the manna He came into the night, the world’s darkest night.
He lived in obscurity and passed away unheeded and despised.
The manna was white Exodus 16:31
It lay in perfect purity in the dewdrop on the sand of the desert.
Such was our blessed Lord. See Numbers 11:9 It never touched the sand of the desert.
Although in the world, He was not of it. He was holy, harmless, undefiled.
From the manger to the cross He was white. As white as His garments were on the mount of transfiguration.
The manna was sweet. Exodus 16:31
The taste was like honey.
Such is the bread that God would have us feed on during our pilgrimage.
It seems to me that we will ever remember the bread of our pilgrimage days. Exodus 16:31.
An omer was to be treasured for a memorial in the inner sanctuary.
The manna lying on the desert was lifted up and treasured in a “golden pot” within a veil.
The gold hue speaks of glory.
Jesus, who had nowhere to lay His head on earth, has been lifted up, and is glorified in the highest heaven. High priest, Intercessor.
One day we will behold His glory.
But even then the memory of His humiliation will not be forgotten.
We will never forget Gethsemane or Golgotha.
The memories of Bethany – Nain shall be with us, and we shall “eat of the hidden manna,” in its everlasting sweetness.
See Revelation 11:17
“They gathered every man according to his capacity.” Exodus 16:18.
God gave it, they gathered it.
It had to be appropriated by them in order to enjoy it.
There is a fullness in Christ to meet all our needs.
No believer can prosper in his soul if he neglects feeding on Christ through the Scriptures.
It was gathered early. Exodus 16:13-16
“When the sun waxed hot it melted.” Priority.
We should try to gather the manna as early as possible.
It was gathered daily. Exodus 16:4 Regularly
Yesterday’s portion would not suffice for today.
The Lord’s Day manna will not do for Monday.
It had to be gathered fresh and used, else it stank and bred worms.
Truth stored in the notebook or the intellect, unexperienced by the soul, and unpracticed in the walk, is of little value, it neither satisfies nor nourishes.
The manna despised Numbers 11
This is the second year in the wilderness, things have changed.
The fine gold has become dim, the warmth of youth and first love has declined.
As it was with them, so it can be with us, loving our first love.
Our salvation through Christ and our feeding on Christ become insipid, commonplace.
The truth about Israel at this point was that “in their hearts they had turned back to Egypt.” Acts 7:39
They remembered the Egyptian dainties they enjoyed v. 5.
Satan saw to it that they did not remember the brickmaking, the bondage, whip, the sweat, and the tears.
We can slide into a state like this also.
Can you honestly say today, as you did when you were first converted:
“Jesus, Thou are enough
The heart and the mind to fill.”
These first days were happy ones.
The Bible was your constant companion. How eagerly you read it and searched its pages.
No reading matter compared with the Scriptures.
It was Jesus only and Jesus alone.
Now is it the well thumbed novel, the dust covered Bible?
Hours spent in trifling conversation, minutes spent in prayer?
Things are allowed to crowd out the prayer meeting, Bible study.
What has happened? The manna has become insipid.
The mixed multitude were the first to lust after Egypt’s food.
Dear believers, beware of religious professors or even Christians of mixed principles and carnal, worldly ways.
These can lead you away from God.
This lusting after Egypt’s food changed the taste of the manna.
Once it was like “honey,” now it is said to be like “fresh oil.”
What a difference, the sweetness had gone.
v. 8 Not satisfied with the manna as it came, they began to make cakes with it.
They changed the character of the manna to suit themselves.