As I continue reading the Exodus story,Moses is moving God's people toward the promised land. They have left Egypt and are now learning to survive in the wilderness. When I say "learning"- I mean EXACTLY that. While living in Egypt, they were totally provided for. Their masters wanted them to stay strong for economic reasons, so they kept the Israelites clothed and fed. They had never been self-sufficient, and probably had never had to make decisions on their own, so their HEAVENLY FATHER had to TEACH them how to do both.
Step one in their survival training was to LOOK TO HIM to be FILLED! This is where MANNA comes in. IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST FOOD! MANNA IS FLAKES OF LOVE!! It is used by GOD to teach His children HOW to DEPEND on HIM for their every need! How to TRUST their LORD and seek HIM to be FULFILLED.
While in Egypt, the food and drink of the Israelites were products manipulated by human hands: bread, porridge, and beer. None of these items were naturally found. A person had to DEPEND on the work and actions of others before these foods were ready to consume. They all began with provisions from God (wheat, barley, etc.), but human hands were needed to complete the process. God DID NOT want His people thinking they needed to depend on ANYONE or ANYTHING but Him! He LOVED them so much!! He alone could provide for them and keep them satisfied. He needed them to learn this BEFORE they entered the promised land!
Once they entered Canaan it would be too late to teach these things. There would be so many distractions. So many new and wonderful things. God DID want them to enjoy the ample gifts that He would give to them, BUT He needed to teach them how to be SATISFIED in HIM first!!! This is why is was imperative that the lesson on how to be satisfied be taught in the desert- little distractions.
Of course you know that God provided quail and water as well as manna. ALL 3 of these demonstrated the same lesson to the Israelites- GOD WOULD PROVIDE! There is something VERY special about Yahweh using these 3 distinct items. They are chosen to represent heaven, sky, and earth:
I found this on Torah.com.... Notice the 3 “spheres” of existence that the sustenance of life for Israel came from: Manna came from Heaven, quail from the sky (the heavens), and water from the earth. Heaven (the spiritual world), the sky (the heavens, what we see when we look out at the stars at night), and the earth we live on. God is sovereign and He is Lord of all these areas that represent not only our entire seen and knowable Universe but also the invisible and unknowable spiritual realm. He provides for our needs from every one of these areas. Our God is indeed an awesome God!!
My thoughts as I read this story-
Do I allow God to TOTALLY satisfy me?
Do I ENJOY His gifts, OR do I DEPEND on His GIFTS for my ultimate fulfillment and happiness??