“But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
Most of us know the story of the manna from heaven – at least the good part. You’ve probably heard about how God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and as they wandered the desert they began to starve. That’s when God miraculously delivered to them the manna from heaven. There was enough every morning that all had plenty to eat. There was no more hunger.
The part of the story you may not have heard in Sunday school isn’t as nice. Soon, the Israelites grew tired of the manna. They had eaten it day after day after day and suddenly the miraculous manna from heaven had become boring, bland, maybe even sickeningly repetitive. It didn’t take long for the complaining to start. That’s what we see in this verse today. The Israelites went from starving, with an appetite big enough to eat an elephant to having no appetite at all for the food that God provided. The beggars became choosers, so to speak.
While I definitely could understand how the same meal day after day for years would become pretty mundane, there’s an important lesson to be learned from the Israelites here. How much did taste matter when the Israelites were starving? It didn’t. They simply wanted to survive. When they first received the manna, they were thankful, their lives had been saved. But not too long after, they began to hate the very thing that saved them.
In your life, God is providing for you every day. Everything that you have – your food, your car, your house, your bed, etc. – was given to you by God. Yet many of us, every day, think about how much we don’t have or how much better the things we have could be. That’s the mindset of the Israelites. And while it seems so obvious to us how ungrateful the Israelites were being for hating the bread that was keeping them alive, we do it every day.
Always remember that God is providing for you. He has given you what you need and he will continue to care for you. Take time today and every day to think about the blessings you receive from God every morning without fail, and be thankful.
Most of all, remember the bread of life that God gave to you and to me – the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus. Though you’ve heard the story a hundred times and you’ve been told the gospel over and over, it’s still easy to live our lives taking that good news for granted. It may not hold the weight it once did. The miraculous feeling of freedom and redemption that you had when you first came to know Christ may not be so strong. Don’t let that stop you from remembering how miraculous it still is today. The feeling may have abated, but the unfathomable grace and mercy that he showed us is just as important as it ever was and we cannot forget it.
Thank you for the bread of life that you gave us in Jesus. I pray that the weight of his life-giving sacrifice will not fade in our lives, but that we will be thankful every day for it. Thank you for all of the blessings that you give us that we so often take for granted.
In Jesus’ Name,