The Jar of Manna

Jar of manna

The Jar holding the Manna is one of the lesser known of the tabernacle objects.

The jar of manna was not of the original tabernacle objects as instructed by God, but was only added later.

The giving of the manna was one of the most extraordinary miracles in the Bible. Week after week, the manna appeared all around the tabernacle. For eighty years it kept to a constant cycle of five days of a single portion, then one day of a double portion and one day of no portion.

God wanted this miracle to be remembered.

Moses said, “The LORD has commanded us to save some manna, to be kept for our descendants, so that they can see the food which he gave us to eat in the desert when he brought us out of Egypt.” Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, put two quarts of manna in it, and place it in the LORD’s presence to be kept for our descendants.” As the LORD had commanded Moses, Aaron put it in front of the Covenant Box, so that it could be kept. (Exo 16:32-34)

Every day, for eighty years, the manna lasted for one day only, except for the double portion of the manna that was provided on the sixth day, which lasted for two days. But on the seventh day there was nothing.

‘Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it for tomorrow.” But some of them did not listen to Moses and saved part of it. The next morning it was full of worms and smelled rotten, and Moses was angry with them.’ (Exo 16:18-20)

‘On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts for each person. …As Moses had commanded, they kept what was left until the next day; it did not spoil or get worms in it.’ (Exo 16:22-24)

God really went out of His way to ascertain that his people got their weekly rest because He knew they needed it.

How far would you go to ensure that you don’t burn out?  

Christ is the eternal ‘Manna’ of Life

The daily manna didn’t last. In contrast to this, the manna placed in the tabernacle was never refreshed or replaced. This manna was preserved from corruption by the tabernacle. Indeed, God’s miracles and mercies are always to be remembered, to encourage us to trust Him at all times.

Those that ate of the manna got hungry again. In contrast, those that feed on Christ by faith shall never hunger.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. (Joh 6:35)

The way that the manna came to the Israelites, compares directly to Christ.

1. The manna came on a daily basis, as a result, there were sufficient for each day

“When they measured it, those who gathered much did not have too much, and those who gathered less did not have too little. Each had gathered just what he needed.” (Exo 16:18)

The Lord thus encourages us to read the Word daily, at the beginning of each day.

There are two mistakes we normally make:

Eating yesterday’s bread – Don’t eat stale bread. Yesterday’s bread can kill you! Similarly, we mustn’t live from past revelations. We need fresh revelations each day.

Eating spiritual fast food – Take proper time to get a balanced meal from the Word of God, prepared by God himself.

2. The manna was provided in close proximity to where they were staying

“And in the morning there was dew all around the camp. When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost.” (Exo 16:13-14)

Christ is within reach of all of us through his word.

3. The manna came with the dew

“When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost. When the Israelites saw it, they didn’t know what it was and asked each other, “What is it?” Moses said to them, “This is the food that the LORD has given you to eat.” (Exo 16:14-15)

The Word of God always functions in harmony with the Holy Spirit “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come.” (Joh 16:13)

4. The manna was to be distributed by the men as heads of their houses

“The LORD has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two quarts for each member of his household.” (Exo 16:16)

Accordingly, it is still the responsibility of the head of the house today to prepare spiritual food for the members of his household.

5. There never was a surplus of manna

“When they measured it, those who gathered much did not have too much, and those who gathered less did not have too little. Each had gathered just what he needed.” (Exo 16:18)

No part of the Word of God is ever superfluous. There was enough manna for everyone, but none had too much; so in Christ there is a complete sufficiency, and no superfluity.

6.  There was never any left for the next day

“But some of them did not listen to Moses and saved part of it. The next morning it was full of worms and smelled rotten.”  (Exo 16:20)

If you don’t use your opportunities, you might lose everything! When God gives you your daily manna, heed his words and you will reap the benefits, just like the Israelites did when God rained manna all around the tabernacle.

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