It never fails.
Trevor will stop by to pick me up from my office at 5:05 pm, and within minutes, he asks,
"So, what are we doing for supper?"
The only exceptions to this almost-daily rule is that sometimes I'm the one doing the asking.
Especially if I didn't have much for lunch.
And most of the time, I can't help but think, Did we just do this yesterday? Why do we have to eat again?
Thankfully, between frozen pizza, leftovers, and the rare freshly made supper (meal planning for the occasional win!), we usually manage to survive.
But here's the thing- when it comes to food, we have to do it every day. And most of us do it more than once a day, even.
Wouldn't our bodies be more convenient, more efficient, if eating were a once-a-week habit? Or once a month, maybe? I mean, just think how much more we could get done without the pesky grocery shopping and stopping for lunch. Ooh! I could sleep in!
Apparently, the Israelites felt much the same way.
Yep, bringing this back to Israelites. Go open your Bible (yes, do it) to Exodus 16:13-21.
Or if you don't have that handy, head over here-- Exodus 16:13-21
Back? Great. Here's a recap of what's going on in this passage--
God's Provision is a Daily Thing
In this account, we see the amazing provision of God through this long-term miracle.
And then we see the Israelites screw it up by being, well, human. (Us humans are good at screwing things up).
The Israelites figured, well, if this manna was going to appear on the ground every morning, as much as each of them needed for the day, then why not stock up?
Now, we don't know the exact reasoning behind their insistence to gather and keep more than they needed. They were being disobedient, yes, but we don't exactly know why.
Maybe they were feeling lazy (like me) and didn't want to go out to get food every single day. Maybe their hoarding came from a place of fear- that they didn't think God would provide for them, after all.
Or maybe they just didn't like the fact that they couldn't pull themselves up by their bootstraps and just take care of feeding themselves.
Whatever the reason, the Israelites ended up with soured, stinking, maggoty bread.
They needed sustenance from God every day. They needed to depend on Him, daily, for years in the desert.
But the people of Israel tried to avoid that daily reliance, that daily coming and gathering and being filled.
Honestly, I get where they're coming from.
(And not just when it comes to figuring out what's for supper.)
That daily reliance thing? Getting into the Bread of Life every day?
I'll admit, I'm pretty terrible at it most of the time.
Just like the Israelites, I try to find a more convenient way to get my dose of God so I can move on and do life on my own.
I read huge chunks of the Bible at a time, because if I get through all of Genesis tonight, then I won't have to read for a while, right? Done.
Or I figure that going to church on Sunday has my bases covered for the week.
But it's just not true.
We need the bread for today... we can't eat yesterday's bread and expect to be filled.
God didn't design me to be a one-and-done Christian.
God designed me to be an abiding, connected Christian. A trusting, relying, Christian. A leaning, seeking, growing Christian.
And that takes time. That takes a daily connection to Him and to what He is telling me through His Word. It takes me listening today, and listening tomorrow, and listening the day after that.
God's guidance and revelation and truth in the Bible will not run out. It'll be there, our daily bread. Our miracle manna.
We need to do it, every single day. Coming and gathering and being filled from the very Word of God.
And just like manna, we need it. We need the Bread that comes only from the Bible.
We need it desperately. For life.
To tell us who we are and who He is.
We need the Bible to center us, to ground us, to teach us the important stuff. If we're not getting nourished here, chances are we'll try to fill up by eating junk somewhere else.
Sometimes, we'll lift up our heads because of the sheer glory of it all.
We'll find word pictures we didn't know existed, or people we hadn't met, yet.
Sometimes, we'll shrug, confused, and ask, "what is it?"
But until we come to the Bible daily, consistently, seeking the soul-deep nutrition that we long for, we won't ever really be filled.
The Bible is a daily thing, my friends. It's necessary, it's powerful, and it's for each and every day.
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