10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.
Manna to Fruit
One could write a theological treatise on manna alone, it’s such an interesting occurrence. Manna was completely unexpected – it literally means, “What is it?” This reminds us that sometimes God blesses us in unexpected ways. We tend to return to the same sources of encouragement and inspiration, time and time again: the same book of the Bible, the same friends, the same church. But we should never draw lines and walls around how God works in our lives because he may surprise us!
Manna was also a daily bread that rotted after each day, forcing the Israelites to come into daily reliance upon God – they could never store it and had to gather it every morning! They were forced to daily rely on God for provision, and what a much needed reminder in our culture of savings accounts, 401K plans and accumulated assets!
But manna must come to an end, as it does in this passage. You can imagine the disappointment of the Israelites, that this supernatural provision was to come to a close. But the key to this passage is that even though manna ceases, God’s provision and blessings continue because from then on, the Israelites enjoy the fruit of Cannan instead. So the question is not whether God will provide, but how he will provide.
We are disappointed when the manna of our lives ceases, and wistfully look back on the good ol’ days: college, pre-marriage, pre-kids, pre-two kids, etc. But this mentality is not only unhelpful, but incorrect: God promises to provide his blessings in every season of our lives, and that our best days are always ahead of us – heaven!!
1. When has God blessed you in an unexpected way?
2. Is there an area of your life where you have a hard time seeing the new things God is doing, i.e. “God, there is nothing good for me here in this new city, school, fellowship, church, group of friends, etc.”
3. When do you usually really turn to God for help and support? Is it daily reliance? If not, what do you think would help make your relationship with Him a truly daily affair?
4. Take stock of where you are – since it is not a question of whether but how…how is God blessing your life right now?
5. The transition from “manna” to “fruit” is a very hard one – what mindsets and circumstances can make this transition easier for people?