“So how are we to interpret this excess?
is it God favor,
ill behavior,
simply man’s modern progress?”
John Reuben



After chatting to my good friend Doxy about manna it got me thinking about how God provides for His children, was interesting thinking about it… here’s some of my thoughts, it really challenged me! 

So God provides His children with enough, more than enough, of His grace, blessing, forgiveness, presents.  As for material wealth… “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” He certainly doesn’t want His children to worry about such things mind you!

I know we’re in recession but if you can afford to eat 3 meals a day for 3 weeks then your in the top 15% of the worlds rich list!  I mean it puts the term “hard times” in a new light!
So I want to discuss a concept that we find in God’s ‘kinder-garden’, aka what God taught the Israelites after He brought them out of Egypt, this was God describing to them and us what His kingdom is like!  How graceful He is, how leading, how holy, how merciful, how pure and how He will provide for His children, and how He wants His children to respond to His providence!
Exodus 16 sees the new grub manna being introduced onto the Hebrew menu, which I think is where mr Kellogg got his idea for Frosties from! “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”
The interesting thing is that they were allowed to collect as much as they wanted but if they collected enough for today and tomorrow, (which seems quite sensible) it turned to maggots in the jar overnight! 

What was God trying to teach them?
What principle was He injecting into His kingdom?

It seems like He wanted them to realize that faith/trust is a daily thing! And we can see that coming through in the sermon on the mount plenty of times, that each day we are to live out our faith! Jesus said, “don’t worry about tomorrow”, “give us today, our daily bread”.  You see this was a relationship that God was going to stick at, that it wasn’t a case of God saying ‘oh your hungry are you, here’s some chunchy nut corn flakes’ and then forgetting about them the next day, NO, God wanted to teach them that each day God would provide for them, give them food, be there for them.  Just like we need to depend on God each day to feed us, to guide us, keep us safe.
Also it seems that God wanted to teach them that greed has no part in His kingdom, that quite simply enough is enough!  When people were greedy, not only was it like saying ‘thanks God for providing the grub but I don’t trust you to provide tomorrow’, but it was also like saying ‘I’m going to make sure and look after myself here, I’ll collect more than enough for myself’… …
What shudders this brings down my spine when I think of how easy it is for us to collect enough wealth for a couple of years never mind the next day!  And I know it’s important for us to pitch our tents (see blog below) but isn’t God setting up a profound teaching here for us that He would confirm in the new testament through Jesus?
That though God might allow the unrighteous and the righteous the same opportunity to get rich, Christians follow a saviour who when on earth was a homeless man, owned nothing but a cloak, said blessed are the poor, told rich men they’d have to sell everything and give it away before they could follow Him. I mean His economic strategy was to look at the sparrows, ‘God feeds them, surly He’ll feed you’.  It’s just crazy how unconcerned He was with earthly things, and this is after working as a carpenter for 30 years.  Even of such essentials like food and clothes he said that those things are for the pagans to run after.  

It seems that God was teaching the Israelites, that out of the abundance of manna, that they were to only take enough for them that day, and to us He is saying that out of the abundance of wealth He has/is giving us we are to only take for today, what we need and the rest is for us to invest in His kingdom. What a responsibility it is to have been blessed with so much, what a challenge that God has trusted us this wealth so we could extent and strengthen His kingdom.

If we want to live in God’s kingdom we’re not to be extravagant with spending on ourselves and that scares me as I think of the money I’ve spent (and I’m just home from a mates stag where I spent £35, to drive a go-kart round a track!)
It seems we’re also to be content with what God gives us in life!  And to seek first God’s kingdom and not to even cast a thought on those mere trivial things like food and clothes! 

And as for being greedy just like that extra manna turned into maggots so the extra wealth that we keep for ourselves will instead of helping us will eat away at our heart for God and His kingdom!

I’ll finish this (what may seem harsh) blog with what may seem an even harsher passage from James 5 warning those who’ve been greedy.

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”

Sorry to finish on that, I’ll lighten up for the next blog!
Standing on grace


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