No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
AND THE MANNA CEASED
Intro: For forty years the children of Israel have been waiting to claim the inheritance God promised to give to Abraham and his descendants many years before. In Gen. 13:14-17, God made the following promise to Abraham, And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
This same promise was reaffirmed to each succeeding generation.
· To Isaac: Gen 26:3, Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.
· To Jacob: Gen. 28:13-14, And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
· To Joseph: Gen. 50:24, And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
· To Moses: Ex. 6:6-8, Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.
Those great promises from the Lord are on the verge of being fulfilled. The children of Israel have survived forty years of wandering around in the wilderness. They have crossed over the Jordan River, and they are literally camping in Canaan. These tired, weary people are in a position to lay claim to the land that they have been promised.
Many things are about to change for Israel. They are going to be fighting a series of battles against the Canaanites for the land that will be their home. Eventually, they will be given their inheritance and they will settle down in the land of Canaan, where they will enjoy the rich blessings of the Lord. One of the major changes they face is mentioned in the verse before us today. We are told in verse 12 that the Manna ceased.
As the people of Israel traveled through the wilderness, they were in a place where little food existed. It would have taken and enormous amount of food to feed a crowd that numbered somewhere between 2 and 3 million people.
In response to their need for food, the Lord moved in a supernatural way. He gave them a substance called Manna, which came down from Heaven during the night. In the morning, all the people of Israel had to do was walk outside and gather the Manna and they had food enough for that day. God sent the Manna everyday the whole time they journeyed through the wilderness, the only exception being the Sabbath. On the day before the Sabbath day, the Lord sent double the amount of Manna, so the people would not have to gather their food on the Sabbath day.
Now we are told, the Manna ceased. Today, I want to examine the Manna, what it meant and what it meant for Israel when it ceased. I want you to notice some characteristics of the Manna that present themselves in this passage.
The Manna was a gift of Gods grace to His people. To understand why He sent it to them, we need to turn back to Exodus 16. That passage teaches us why God sent the Manna and what it represented. I want to point out several truths that are hidden in the substance called Manna.
· Ex. 16:1-5 - The Manna was sent in response to the complaint of the people, v. 2. They were hungry and they missed the food they used to have down in Egypt, v. 3. God tells Moses that He will rain bread from heaven for you, v. 4. God also tells Moses that the Manna will serve as a testing for the people of Israel. God will use their response to the Manna to test their obedience to His Law, v. 5.
· Ex. 16:14-35 - This lengthy passage gives us several insights in the Manna that are worthy of notice. Let me share them with you today, for in doing so, we will see the face of Christ and the glory of God in this stuff called Manna.
The Manna was a clear picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was an Old Testament type sent from the Lord to paint a picture of the Savior He would send to the world. Notice the ways in which the Manna pictured the Lord Jesus.
1. It Was Small - Ex. 16:14 - This speaks of His humility. He is the Creator of the universe, John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17. He is God Almighty, John 1:1. Yet, He came into this world and robed Himself in human flesh, John 1:14. He humbled Himself and became a servant so that He might die for His people on the cross, Phil. 2:5-8. What love! What grace! What supreme condescension!
2. It Was Round - Ex. 16:14 - Like a circle that has no beginning and no ending; Jesus Christ is eternally God. He did not have His beginning at Bethlehem; but was able to proclaim, Before Abraham was, I am, John 8:58. And, just as He had no beginning, He shall have no ending, Heb. 7:25. Our Savior is eternal.
3. It Was White - Ex. 16:31 - White like the purest of snow. The whiteness of the Manna speaks of the purity of Jesus. He was born into this world without the taint of human sin, 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5; Heb. 7:26. In fact, He was not even able to sin! He lived without sin, so that He might die for sin on the cross, Heb. 9:26. Only a sinless man could do that!
4. It Came At Night - Ex. 16:13-14 - Jesus Christ was born on a dark night in Judaea, Luke 2:1-11. He came to a world trapped in spiritual darkness to gave the world light, love and life.
5. It Was Misunderstood By Those Who Found It - Ex. 16:15 - They called it Manna, which means, What is it? Jesus was misunderstood by the very people He came to save - John 1:11; John 10:20.
6. It Was Sufficient For Every Persons Need - Ex. 16:17-18 - For 40 years the Manna was sufficient for the young ones and the old one and for everyone in between. The Manna was right for everybody! The growing boy grew into manhood off the nourishment of the Manna. The young girl grew into a woman by eating the Manna. It sustained the rich and the poor. It fed the leader and the follower. It was good enough to sustain the lives of the entire congregation of Israel for 40 years. This reminds us that Jesus is the all-sufficient Savior. (Ill. Acts 4:12; John 14:6; John 3:16)
7. It Was Sweet To The Taste - Ex. 16:31 - The taste of the Manna was like tasting wafers made with honey. No doubt it was pleasant surprise to everyone who placed it on the tongue. This is a great picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the sinner, Jesus appears to be harsh, a cosmic killjoy Who delights in keeping people from having fun. But, when you come to know Him, you find that He is the delight of the soul! You find that He makes life worth living. The songwriter said: Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. The Psalmist said it this way, O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him, Psalm 34:8. That has been my experience and I am guessing it has been your too, if you are saved.
8. It Was To Be Kept And Passed On To Others - Ex. 16:32 - Jesus is the same way; He is to be shared with those who cross our path. (Ill. Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15)
The Manna serves as a brilliant picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Manna serves to remind us of Who Jesus is and of what He came to do. If you have never bowed to Him, repented of your sins and believed the Gospel, you need to come to Jesus Christ by faith so that you can be saved from your sins. That is the picture we find in the Manna.
I. What The Manna Pictured
The children of Israel lived on the Manna for 40 years. They collected those small, white pieces of Manna every day. For nearly 13,000 days the people of Israel picked up the Manna, they gathered it, they cooked it, and then they ate it.
The people tried various ways to make the Manna more appetizing. Numbers 11:8 says, And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. In spite of what they did with it, the Manna was their lifeline.
The Manna kept them from starving to death in the wilderness. The difference between having the Manna and not having it was the difference between life and death.
Again, in this aspect, the Manna is a portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like the Manna that sustained the Israelites in the wilderness, the Lord Jesus sustains those who come to Him by faith.
Looking back to Ex. 16 again, we can a couple of truths concerning the Manna and how it was appropriated that we need to notice.
· The Manna Was Appropriated By Stooping - Ex. 6:14-15 - The Manna appeared on the ground. In order to gather it, the people had to bend their knees and get down there where it was.
The only way anyone can come to Jesus for salvation is with a humble heart, Matt. 18:2-4. No one comes to Jesus filled with pride and thinking they are adequate within themselves. The only ones who can come to Him are those who see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior. Those who come to Jesus do so by bowing in humble repentance, Acts 17:30!
· It Was Appropriated By Swallowing - Ex. 6:16-18 - The Manna was gathered by the men of the tent. When the Manna was brought into the tent, it was divided out according to the number of people in the tent. The Manna was there, but it could help no one until it was eaten. The only way to benefit from the Manna was to get it inside you!
This speaks to us of Jesus! You can come to church, carry the right Bible, hear sermons, song songs, pray prayers and do all the religious stuff you want to. But, you will never be saved until you come to Jesus for yourself. No one can do it for you. Thank God for saved moms and dads, but children cannot ride into Heaven on their coattails. Grandparents that love Jesus are a blessing, but you have to be saved for yourself. Here again the words of the Bible, Acts 16:31; John 3:3, 7; Rom. 10:9; Rom. 10:13.
The Manna provided life to those who ate it. The Lord Jesus provides life to those who believe the Gospel and are saved by faith in Him. Jesus Christ makes the difference between life and death, 1 John 5:12.
There are many roads you can take through life. There are many roads offered by the various religions in the world today. There is but one road that leads away from sin and damnation and into the presence of God in Heaven, and that road is named Jesus! Any other road leads to Hell, only Jesus Christ leads to life everlasting, John 14:6; Matt. 7:13-14.
The Manna sustained the lives of the people of Israel as they travelled in the wilderness. It provided their salvation. Jesus Christ does the very same thing! Every soul that comes to Him by faith is delivered from death, sin, Hell and the awful wrath of God. Those who come to Jesus Christ find that He offers so much more! He sustains His people as they journey toward the Fathers house. He blesses His people in many precious ways.
o He blesses them with His presence - Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5
o He blesses them with His peace - John 14:27; Phil. 4:7
o He blesses them with His provision - Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33
o He blesses them with His power
§ Power to witness - Acts 1:8
§ Power to love others - Rom. 5:5
§ Power to live for God - 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 5:16-25
§ Power to withstand everything that comes our way - 2 Cor. 12:9.
o He blesses them with His promises - 2 Cor. 1:20; Rom. 4:21
The Manna provided hope. When they ate todays meal, there was the promise that there would be more food tomorrow. They could lie down at night with the assurance that God had their needs on His heart. The Manna gave the hope in a desperate situation.
Jesus Christ provides the same kind of hope to His people. When He is your Savior, you know you will never walk alone. You know that He will never leave you. You know that He will meet all your needs. You know that He will bless you, use you and give you sufficient grace for every day you live. Thank God for the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
The Manna sustained Israel for 40 years. It literally became their life. Such is Jesus Christ to all who come to Him. He is life! He is the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Him.
I. What The Manna Pictured
II. What The Manna Provided
We are told, the Manna ceased the day after the children of Israel had eaten of the fruit of Canaan. Every day, when the people of Israel picked up and ate the Manna, that simple piece of bread was making a promise. Every day that Manna said, Theres a better day coming! You are headed to a land flowing with milk and honey. You are going to a place of blessing where all your needs will be met.
The Manna was the Lords way of promising Israel a better life in a better land. When they arrived in the land of victory, the desert diet ceased. They no longer needed the Manna because they could now feast on the bounty of Canaan. Compared to where they had just come from, there was enough left over in the fields of Canaan to sustain them until it was time to harvest next years crops.
The Manna said, Things will be better down the road. And, the Manna was right!
What does this say to us? All through the message, as we have looked at the Manna, we have seen in it a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not suggesting that anything could be better than knowing Him.
· I am suggesting that when you find yourself in your own Canaan, in that place of spiritual victory and power, you will lay down the diet of the wilderness and you will feast on the riches of the Lord.
· I am suggesting that your fellowship with the things of God and the Lord Himself will grow deeper and ever more satisfying.
· I am suggesting that those who will leave their past behind and walk into a new day with the Lord will find that the place of victory in the Lord is a very satisfying place to be.
It is wonderful to be saved by the grace of God! So many people are wandering around aimlessly, living far below the place God saved them to be. They are saved, but there is little power, little glory and little victory. They are living on what they can pick up along the way.
God wants to lead you to a place of bounty in your Christian life. He wants to lead you to a place of fullness, to a place of blessing, to a place of glory, to a place of victory. He wants to bring you into a place where you do not have to depend on the blessings of yesterday to sustain your soul, but where you can enjoy the priceless riches of what He has given you in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank God for the blessings of yesterday. Thank God for the glory days, the days of revival, the days of power. Thank God for all that He did then. We need something now! God has a place of blessing for all His children. All we need to do is take the step of faith that is necessary to bring us out of the wilderness and into that place of blessing.
There is a place where:
· Jesus is near - Ill. John - John 13:23
· Jesus is precious - Ill. Mary - Mark 14:1-9
· Jesus and His business is exciting - Ill. The multitudes around Jerusalem - Luke 19:29-40
· Jesus is more glorious than anything else - Ill. The crowds in glory - Rev. 4-5; 7:9-17
Are you in that place of victory in your life? It is there and it is available to you, if you are willing to lay down the desert diet and eat the bounty of Canaan.
Here is a truth that we do not want to miss. The Manna pictures Jesus in His incarnation. Because He came into this world and gave His life on Calvary, we can be saved. Thank God for that! The wealth of Canaan speaks of Christ in His resurrection. We are cleansed from our sins by His death on the cross, but it is His resurrection that allows us to move through this world in victory for the glory of God.
Here is how Paul expressed his desire for his own relationship with God: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead, Phil. 3:8-11.
The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ delivers us from our sins and it offers us the prospect of a new life in Him. When we come to Jesus Christ, we are saved, but we should never expect to walk in victory and power until lose our appetite for the things of the past. When we stop feeding off the flesh and what it wants, and we learn to live off the spiritual provisions God has for us in His Word, His church and in His Son, we can anticipate victory in our lives.
Conc: If you were honest about your spiritual condition, where does this message find you today?
Are you lost in your sins and in need of a Savior? If that is your situation, I want you to know that you can be saved, if you will repent of your sins and believe the Gospel, God will save you. Come to Him today and allow us to show you how that can happen in your life.
Are you still looking for that place of victory? Do you battle daily with sins of the mind and the flesh? Are you still filling your life with a steady diet of worldliness, wickedness and sin? If that is your condition, the Lord offers you the opportunity to change today. Come to Jesus, confess your sins, repent of those sins, and He will forgive you and restore you for His glory, 1 John 1:9; Pro. 28:12.
Have you reached a place in your spiritual life where you can honestly say that you are enjoying spiritual victories? Is the Lord blessing you and using you for His glory? Are you thankful for that? You should come thank Him for His grace in your life.
I dont know what you need, but I do know that there is a Canaan land filled with the good blessings of the Lord, if you are willing to walk in and claim it!