The Manna a Test of Faith
Exodus 16:4
Then said the LORD to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you…

"That I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no." How did the manna become a test of this? By means of the law prescribed for gathering it. There was to be a given quantity daily, and twice as much on the sixth day. If a man trusted God for to-morrow, he would be content to stop collecting when he had filled his Greet, tempting as the easily gathered abundance would be. Greed and unbelief would masquerade then, as now, under the guise of prudent foresight. The old Egyptian parallels to "make hay while the sun shines," and such like wise sayings of the philosophy of distrust, would be solemnly spoken, and listened to as pearls of wisdom. When experience had taught that, however much a man gathered, he had no more than his omer full, after all — and is not that true yet? — then the next temptation would be to practise economy, and have something over for tomorrow. Only he who absolutely trusted God to provide for him, world eat up his portion, and lie down at night with a quiet heart, knowing that He who had fed him would feed. When experience taught that what was saved rotted, then laziness would come in, and say, "What is the use of gathering twice as much on the sixth day? Don't we know that it will not keep?" So the whole of the gift was a continual training, and therefore a continual test, for faith. God willed to let His gifts come in this hand-to-mouth fashion, though He could have provided at once what would have obviously lasted them all their wilderness life, in order that they might be habituated to cling to Him, and that their daily bread might be doubly for their nourishment, feeding their bodies, and strengthening that faith which, to them as to us, is the condition of all blessedness. God lets our blessings, too, trickle to us drop by drop, instead of pouring them in a flood all at once upon

us, for the same reason. He does so, not because of any good to Him, from our faith, except that the Infinite love loves infinitely to be loved. Bat for our sakes, that we may taste the peace and strength of continual dependence, and the joy of continual receiving. He could give us the principal down; but He prefers to pay us the interest as we need it. Christianity does not absolutely forbid laying up money or other resources for future wants. But the love of accumulating, which is so strong in many professing Christians, and the habit of amassing beyond all reasonable future wants, is surely scarcely permitted to those who profess to believe that incarnate wisdom forbade taking anxious care for the morrow, and sent its disciples to lilies and birds to learn the happy immunities of faith. We, too, get our daily mercies to prove us. The letter of the law for the manna is not applicable to us who gain our bread by God's blessing on our labour. But the spirit is, and the members of great commercial nations have surely little need to be reminded that still the portion put away is apt to breed worms. How often it vanishes I Or, if it lasts, tortures its owner, who has more trouble keeping it than he had in getting it; or fatally corrupts his own character, or ruins his children. All God's gifts are tests, which — thanks be to Him — is the same as to say that they are means of increasing faith, and so adding joy.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

WEB: Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law, or not.

The Gift of Manna
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