Pastor Karen Troxler
The use of the word “humble” in verse 16 has intrigued me. “(God) fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good.” One of the meanings of “humble” is “to destroy the independence, power, or will of, to make meek.” How did providing manna to the Israelites humble them, and why would God feel the need to do so?
Manna, of course, was the primary food that the Israelites ate during their time wandering in the wilderness. Exodus 16:31 describes it as “white like coriander seed and tasting like wafers made with honey.” The Israelites complained about many things, including the manna. In this case, I probably would have complained too. Manna sounds like something I would eat for a snack, not something I would want for a meal, let alone for 40 years! However, as God met their need for nourishment, what right did the Israelites have to complain about the manner in which He chose to do it? Proud and bold in their demands, God knew they needed humbling!
Sadly, we are often like the Israelites. We tend to want everything exactly the way we want it, and tend to complain when we do not get it. Then when God does meet our needs abundantly, instead of being grateful, we often tend to forget Him. We begin to focus on the “things,” rather than on the One who provided them. Sometimes we even act as though we attained these things all on our own.
Moses’ warning easily could have been written to us today. Most of us have what we need on which to survive, but are far less appreciative and far more possessive of it than we should be. During this Lenten season, may we be reminded that what we really need is the “Manna” that God provides. Jesus is the true Bread from Heaven, and is the only One who can meet our deepest needs and longings.
Hungry, I come to you, for I know You satisfy
I am empty, but I know Your love does not run dry
So I wait for you, so I wait for You
I’m falling on my knees, offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for
From “Hungry” by Kathryn Scott