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With New Testament Eyes: 13 - The Manna

By Henry Mahan


      Exodus 16:11-18, 31; John 6:28-35, 48-51

      Would we be faithful ministers of the gospel of Christ? Would we be faithful teachers and preachers in our generation? Would we be faithful students and rightly divide the word of truth? Then we will search the Old Testament Scriptures and preach Christ from the types, patterns, and prophecies as did our Lord and the disciples (Luke 24:26-27, 44-47; 1 Cor. 10:4; 1 Cor. 5:7).

      In John 6 our Lord refers to the manna which fell in the wilderness and calls himself 'the true bread from heaven.' In Rev. 2:17 John writes, 'to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.' How is the manna, which God gave to Israel, a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'the true bread'?

      Manna was a strange and mysterious thing to the Israelites They had never seen anything like it before and said to one another, 'What is this?' (Exo. 16:15).

      Nothing is more mysterious and wonderful than the incarnation of God in human flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). He who made the world was in the world (John 1:10). He who made woman was made of a woman (Gal. 4:4-5). The living God became a man and dwelt among us, numbered with transgressors, subject to every trial and temptation of the flesh, yet without sin (John 1:14; Heb. 4:14-16). Without the aid of men (no plowing, no planting, no reaping) the bread lay upon the ground. Even so, without the aid of men the Son of God was conceived and born into the world (Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:30-35).

      Manna was prepared in heaven and came down to earth The people of Israel must have food. It was impossible for them to provide for themselves in the wilderness, so their bread was prepared in heaven and sent down to earth (Num. 11:9).

      Christ Jesus had a body prepared of the Father that he might be food for believers (Heb. 10:5). In the wilderness of flesh and sin there is no food. 'In the flesh dwelleth no good thing.' 'That which is impossible with men is possible with God.'

      All the nourishment Israel needed was found in the manna from heaven, and all that a believer needs is in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9-10).

      Manna was a gift

      It cost them nothing. All they needed to do was to gather it and eat it. Christ Jesus is the unspeakable gift of God's love (2 Cor. 9:15; Rom. 6:23). Our Lord said to the Samaritan woman, 'If you knew the gift of God, you would ask and I would give.' The bread of life, Christ Jesus, is free. That for which men labor never satisfies and in the end will cost them dearly (Isa. 55:1-3).

      Manna was provided for all who were hungry The poor and the rich, the young and the old, male and female, leaders and followers, all had one thing in common. They were hungry, and the manna met everyone's need (Exo. 16:16-18).

      All men, of whatever distinction, have one thing common--all have sinned and all need the Saviour. He is the only Saviour and the only bread (Matt. 11:28; John 6:53-54).

      The Israelites gathered the manna daily, and the man who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack. We feed on Christ daily, 'to whom coming.' There is not a day without a fresh feeding upon him, and whether we have strong faith (much), we have none over, or weak faith (less), we have no lack of nourishment and life. He is sufficient!

      Manna was pleasant to the taste

      How sweet and satisfying is the Lord Jesus to those who taste (Exo. 16:31)! His word is sweeter than the honeycomb (Psalm 34:8). He becomes all things to those who believe, meeting their every need.

      In many ways the manna in the wilderness does not picture Christ.

      Manna was food for the outward man only. Christ is the bread of life for the inward man.

      The manna was eaten by those who later died. We eat of Christ and never die.

      The manna rotted and decayed when kept. Christ ever lives! He abides the same yesterday, today, and forever.

      The manna was only found in the morning. Christ is our food morning, noon, and night.

      The manna ceased when they entered Canaan.

      Christ, our bread, is our bread forever. In glory he will be the subject of our song, the joy of our heart, and the object of our worship.

      Go worship at Emmanuel's feet
      See in his face all wonders meet!
      The whole creation can afford
      But some faint shadow of my Lord.

      Is he compared to wine and bread?
      Dear Lord, our souls would thus be fed!
      Is he a tree? Then we receive
      Salvation from his healing leaves!

      Is he a rose? Not Sharon yields
      Such fragrancy in all her fields!
      Is he the vine? his heavenly root
      Supplies the branch with life and fruit!

      Is he the fountain? There I bathe
      And heal the plague of sin and death.
      Is he a fire? He will purge my dross
      So the true gold sustains no loss!

      Is he the rock? How firm he proves
      The Rock of Ages never moves.
      Is he the way? That leads to God,
      There would I walk in lines of blood!

      Is he the door? I'll enter in
      To feed on pastures large and green!
      Is he the temple? I'll adore
      The indwelling majesty and power!

      Is he the sun? His beams are grace,
      His course is joy and righteousness!
      His beauties we can never trace
      'Till we behold him face to face!

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant

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