MANNA DOESN’T KEEP

In Exodus, when the children of Israel gather up the manna, the “bread from heaven,” Moses cautions them not to gather too much. They are to gather only as much as they need for that day, confident that tomorrow God would provide for them again. Predictably, the people ignored Moses. They gathered more than they needed, then stashed the rest for another day. But the manna resisted that. If you tried to possess more than you needed for that day, it turned rotten. Manna doesn’t keep.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Jesus isn’t offering to give us bread; he is offering to be our bread, to be to us what bread is: the sustainer of life. But just as the Israelites could not hoard a lifetime supply of the bread from heaven, so we cannot hoard a lifetime supply of the bread of life.

Some of us are still trying to live on the strength of a religious awakening that happened when we were teenagers, or a Bible study class we took years ago. But manna doesn’t keep. The Israelites couldn’t live off yesterday’s stored-up manna, and we cannot live off yesterday’s stored-up religion. We need to replenish our supply every day.—Lou Lotz, Words of Hope Devotional, March 10, 2009

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