Where Are You?

There is a special place where it all makes sense.

The search for meaning is as relevant today as it was at the time of the Exodus from Egypt.

The children of Israel complained to Moses and Aaron, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." (Exodus 16:3)

The wilderness was not making a lot of sense. Why die in the wilderness when they could just as easily die well-fed and retiring in Egypt? They recalled how satisfied they were in Egypt, and when compared to the scarcity of the wilderness, Egypt was the place. It was all about location, they preferred to be in the land of Egypt, seated "by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full", where they could die "by the hand of the LORD".

Despite the allurement of the retirement plan in Egypt, God was working His redemption plan in the wilderness.

"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out to gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My Torah or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.'" (Exodus 16:4-5)

God said He would rain bread from heaven, in the wilderness. Returning to Egypt was a distraction. Sitting by the pots of meat and waiting for death to eventually come may have been the Egyptian view to life, but there was more to life. Though important, death was not the goal of life. A full and successful life awaited them in the wilderness.

Life in the wilderness would be different. Here the children of Israel would be tested. Faith and obedience would be the twin keys to success. Faith in God and His servants, Moses and Aaron would lay the foundation. Obedience to God's instruction would demonstrate the walk of faith.

In the greater picture for all mankind, it is not difficult to see how the daily provision of heavenly bread, in the wilderness, is likened to God's Word as man's daily provision, in the world. The environment in which man lives is under constant siege from evil, and wickedness threatens the well-being of all. However, with God's help, man can overcome with God's righteousness.  God's Word, man's daily provision, is able to instruct and guide enabling man to succeed, to walk in righteousness and in the path of life. To do the work which God has created man for, man must eat the bread of heaven. He will not succeed by his own devices. God's Word, when allowed to permeate daily life, is the light which dispels the darkness and uncertainty, and by which our Heavenly Father is glorified in His Creation.

"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 8:3)

For six days the children of Israel would gather the heavenly bread in the mornings, and on the sixth day, they were required to gather twice the amount. The reason was that no bread would fall from heaven on the seventh day -- it was a day of rest, when gathering was not permitted. The sixth day was used to prepare provisions for the seventh day, Shabbat.

Being seated by pots of meat portrays an image of contentment and plenty. It is a world at ease and indifferent, not concerned for the Kingdom of God. It is a lifestyle which pampers to worldly standards and priorities. A lifestyle that is distant from God who shows justice and mercy to the fatherless, the widow, the poor and destitute.

In short, the lifestyle promoted by Egypt is typical of all the civilizations of the world, which have existed since the beginning that have been and are solely focussed on their own advancement and power of influence. These civilizations characteristically display a total disregard and in some cases, a complete contempt, for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, thus subjecting the common people to grave injustices and crippling generational poverty.

In contrast, gathering daily food from heaven is an image of God's kingdom, and of those who seek His kingdom. It is the lifestyle of the upright and the righteous. To gather "the bread of heaven" daily is an image of readiness and willingness to do the Heavenly Father's will. It is a picture of learning from our Heavenly Father, and of being prepared to imitate Him daily.

Just as the bread from heaven shows our Heavenly Father's care and provision for Israel's needs, so too, His children would learn to provide for the needs of others, and thus be His light to the nations. The daily gathering portrays faithfulness, being outworked through a keen devotion to uphold justice and to deliver mercy in whatever situation may come. To gather is not to sit idle, but rather to be engaged in the work of the Kingdom, and with the King, so as to perform His good works. This was and is the great calling, the life of the children of Israel.

In the days of the Messiah therefore, it is not surprising to read that the multitude followed Him with more urgency, after He fed them with just two fish and five loaves. Note however, it was not because of the signs and miracles that they followed Him with more zeal, but rather because they had eaten and were filled.

"Yeshua answered them and said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.'" (John 6:26-27)

The multitude of Jewish people that followed Yeshua had experienced life, which their fathers had experienced in the wilderness. Just as their fathers believed in Moses and were fed, so too, the multitude believed Yeshua was the Messiah and were filled. Just as their fathers in the wilderness learned the Torah's promise that man shall live daily by the word of God, so too, the multitude of Jewish followers of Yeshua.

"'For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Then they said, 'Lord, give us this bread always.' And Yeshua said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'" (John 6:33-35)

There is a place where it all makes sense. It is not in returning to Egypt. May there be many today who turn from feeding on the civilizations of men, and return to the goodness of the God of Israel, seeking Yeshua the Messiah, the bread from heaven.


Mark Warren