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Manna Every Morning [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2021 6:00 am

Manna Every Morning [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Allen Wright, pastor, Bible teacher, and author of his latest book, The Power to Bless. Anne and I have an ongoing dispute. She thinks that you should throw out food after the expiration date.

I think you should throw out food when it smells bad. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series From Now On, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now, a copy of Pastor Alan's book, Lover of My Soul. This can be yours for your donation this month to Allen Wright Ministries.

As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Allen Wright. Are you ready for some good news? All you need is grace for today, which is good because God only gives grace for today. We're in a series that we've called From Now On, and I want to talk to you today about a strange and beautiful story in the scripture about manna. I like to call it manna every morning. We're learning about living in the moment, living from now on.

Wouldn't it be wonderful not to drag the past with you or to spend your time worried about the future, but just live from now on. What a great story to turn to in Exodus chapter 16. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me there. The second book in the Bible, Exodus in the 16th chapter, and we're going to pick up reading at verse 13. The people of God have been by a mighty miracle delivered from their slavery in Egypt, and God has taken them toward the promised land, but as soon as they get hungry, they grumble and they complain, and God provides a mysterious provision of food called manna.

We're at verse 13. In the evening, quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. And when the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it?

For they did not know what it was. And Moses told them, It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat, and this is what the Lord has commanded. Gather of it each one of you as much as he can eat, and you shall each take an omer according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent. And the people of Israel did so. They gathered some more, some less, but when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.

Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, Let no one leave any of it till the morning. But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank.

And Moses was angry with them. Anne and I have an ongoing dispute. She thinks that you should throw out food after the expiration date. I think you should throw out food when it smells bad. I mean, I have some evidence for this that really the expiration date, it says better if used by.

I think we've got a picture here of a couple of these. One, best, here it is, best if used by. And here's another, better if used by. There, I'm making my case right there.

Better if used by. It doesn't mean you have to throw it away, do you? I'm not saying that some food doesn't need to be thrown away. I had three roommates my first year out of college, lived in Winston-Salem, did youth ministry, and I lived in the downstairs of a rental house, three guys upstairs. And nobody was very neat, but we had one guy, one brother, he just had a terrible habit of just leaving his food on a plate in his room.

And one day, one of my roommates and I, we just had it, we just said we got to clean this house out a little bit, and we went back in his room, you just could not believe the stuff that was growing. There was plates in there that had more mold on it than had food. I think that stuff needs to be thrown out. So for example, as you can see in this slide, the tomato on the left, I think you could keep that one. Tomato on the right, I agree, that needs to be going out. Bread on the left, that's very, very nice bread. Bread on the right, that's clearly throw it out.

So Anne and I have an ongoing dispute, but we don't keep stuff that's been expired very long around our house. But nobody wants to eat smelly, moldy stuff because we know it's rotten. And so now we come to this strange, wonderful story in which the Israelites, they grumble and they're hungry, and they start thinking, well, we'd be better off as slaves in Egypt. And God gives them this mysterious food called manna that only lasts for a short period of time that they gather every day. And so manna, we don't know what it looks like.

It might have looked something like this, people have guessed it, almost like a dew-like thing on the ground. What manna is, the word manna means, what is it? In Hebrew it's like, they're going around saying, what is it?

What is it? They never did know exactly what it was, so they just called it, what is it? That's what manna means. They ate what is it the whole time they were in the wilderness. We don't know what the rotten manna looked like, but if you held onto it very long, it very quickly might have looked like this.

Now that's disgusting, take that picture away. But I wanted you to understand that manna not only did it not last, but it became putrid very quickly. There are some lessons for us about the grace of God here and about what it means to live from now on that are absolutely magnificent. I am just amazed at the Bible. I've been studying this same book most of my life, and I'm just enthralled by the fact that it is one big story written over so many different centuries that all points towards the grace of Jesus, all points towards Christ himself. The story of manna is a shadow, and it is foreshadowing.

It is telling us in advance something about the gospel, something about Jesus, something about grace. So I'm just going to plow right into this text and draw out some observations about manna. I want to just show you what we learn about manna. There's more that we learn about manna from this story, but I'm going to show you some things that we learned about manna.

And then from that, I want to very plainly, just the kind of thing you take with you right into the day, right into the week, show you some principles for living that are based on what we've seen in this incredible story. The first thing to say is that manna is a gift. The people grumbled, but God provided for them anyway. Look at Exodus 16 two to four. The whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the people of Israel said to them, would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt when we sat by the meat pots and had bread to the full?

For you have brought us out here into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger. It's just absolutely extraordinary, isn't it, that people who had been slaves for hundreds of years, who are miraculously delivered and finally have their freedom, within a very short period of time when their stomachs rumbled with a little bit of hunger and fear overtook them, they reinterpreted their past and thought we'd be better off just to go back to our slavery. It's a cliche we often say, but it's one thing to take people out of Egypt. It's another thing to take the Egypt out of them. It's one thing to come into new freedom in Christ.

It's another thing to take that inward sense of old identity out and become really who you are in Christ. And so they're just grumbling. What I want to just say at the beginning of this whole, what we're learning about manna and what we're going to learn about the grace of Jesus is that every story you read in the Bible, in one way or another, it's about the grace of God. I tell you, our kids growing up, the thing I just disliked the most was whining.

I just felt like, no, we've got everything. We have nothing to whine about. And so I always try to nip it in the bud, and I know that God doesn't like grumbling. He's a father and he wants his children to be appreciative. But here's what's amazing about the grace of God. Just because we sin, God doesn't stop giving grace. Just because the people grumbled did not cause him to not still sin the manna. And this is extraordinarily important news because the Bible teaches that Christ died for the ungodly while they were still in their sin. This is not an invitation to say, oh, go ahead and grumble. God doesn't care. This is instead to say that God gives grace where it's never deserved.

That's the first thing that I noticed about this. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.

You believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Alan Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you, and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, the love you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, The incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul. Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal, enjoy His embrace, revel in His love.

After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. The second thing I notice is that different amounts of manna are needed. This is something about manna. Look back at verse 16 again. This is what the Lord has commanded.

Gather of it each one of you as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer according to the number of persons that each of you has in his tent. So our idea that we all are supposed to have the same amount of whatever good thing from God is really more our idea than God's. In fact, it offends our Western and modern rationality to think that we don't all have the same amount of talent or that we don't all have the same gifts from God. But very clearly in the Bible, the picture is one of absolutely God's love is infinite for every single human being. And every single Christian is 100 percent equally loved by God and a co-heir with Christ and shares the same authority in Christ. But we have different gifts. And God therefore gives in a very real sense different graces to different people. And there are some people that have a whole lot of a grace in a certain area of their life that other people don't. And when you get to heaven, it's going to be amazing because when you get to a place where there's absolutely no jealousy and only love, I think we'll find out the meaning behind these stories like when Jesus told a parable of three servants that were given different amount of talents. The concern of the stories was not that we make sure that everybody had the same amount of manna, but that it was matching what was needed, which is the next point of all of this, that manna always, always matches all of the need. So different amounts are needed and it always matches the need.

That's what verse 18 tells us. When they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. So here's what happened with the manna. It's a mysterious, miraculous thing, but they all just go out and gather, and they're supposed to gather according to how much they needed for their household, and they just gather. And it wasn't like there was this precise, I know exactly how many quarts of manna I'm supposed to have today.

It is more like you just go out and you just gather, and you gather as much as you can and gather what it seemed like, and you bring it home to your tent, and then you eat of it. Some people, it looked like they'd gather a whole lot. Well, it was just the right amount, and some people it looked like maybe they hadn't gathered quite enough, and it was still the right amount for them. There's no mention here of like because you were the younger and quicker head of household, and you could run out there and gather more than everybody else, that therefore somehow you got to hold on to it, and you had more than others.

Or if you were a little bit slower or a little bit feeble and you couldn't gather as much as quickly for your tent, that somehow you ran out. Instead, God was just given a lesson here, right? He was saying it's going to be the right amount. I'm providing it.

It's a gift, and there are going to be different amounts, but it's going to be the right amount. And then we get to this and what is really kind of the central mysterious deal about this text that I want to convey our principles out of, and that is that manna can't be hoarded. Exodus 16, 19. Moses said to them, Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.

Just for that day. That's the picture of manna. They weren't allowed to hoard it, but they wanted to hoard it. They wanted to because we all want to do that. We would just like to hoard God's grace and just pile up enough provision and just enough that we could not have to trust Him anymore.

That's the very reason that God wanted them to gather day by day, and it's the reason the grace of God comes to us day by day. See, we'd love to hoard it. A little part of us is like orphans. If you've read about orphans or ever maybe perhaps you've adopted a child and seen this in practice, they have a tendency until they really know they belong, they have a tendency to try to hoard things. And I had a buddy who when he adopted a two- or three-year-old boy who'd been through a lot of hard times in life, that little boy, he loved these little toy cars. And it was just so funny for this dad to find all the places where he'd hidden the cars, tuck them up under his mattress, tuck them up on it. It's just something he really loved, so he's so afraid he's going to lose it, so he's just got to hoard it.

He's just got to hide it. You know, we'd probably like to change the Lord's Prayer instead of saying give us this day our daily bread. We'd probably like to say, Lord, give us this day enough bread for the next 10 years. And then we won't have to keep coming back to you like this with this constant prayer. You know, Lord, it'd be easier on you, wouldn't it, if you just go ahead and give us everything we need for the next 10 years.

And by the way, tell me about the future so I don't have to worry about it anymore. It's not the way it works. And the thing that happened is if they did try to hoard it, here's what we learned about manna. Hoarded manna always rots. Verse 20, they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till morning, and it bred worms and stank. Is that the right way to say that word?

That's the way the ESV said. It stank. And Moses was angry with them. He was bothered by this.

He'd given him clear instructions from the Lord. You know, here's the principle about the manna is that it's so interesting that they hoarded it and then it was just putrid, you know, teeming with maggots. And now your whole tent smells bad, right? You have this really sweet grace, this really sweet provision, and then you tried to hold onto it so that you didn't have to gather any the next day or didn't have to worry about whether it would be there the next day, and now it's something that's smelling up the whole place. In other words, it became worse than if they'd never gathered it in the first place. That's really interesting.

We'll come back to that. But we like to be able to think that somehow we could just hoard it. But you know, isn't it interesting God made us the way he did? He made us so that we're supposed to eat every day and sleep every day. Now you can fast and you can have days that you go by without food or sleep, but not long, not long, because you're made, your body's made not to be able to just store up everything and then not eat. We aren't groundhogs who just eat a bunch and then go and hibernate and just kind of live off the fat. I mean, I've had times I've thought, you know what I'm gonna do? I'm just gonna eat everything in sight now and then I just won't eat for a while. But you think I'll never be hungry again and after you've eaten a piece of cake, a piece of pie, and that was following the pizza that you'd had and you'd go, I'll never feel like eating again and then in a matter of hours, you're like, wait a minute, I'm hungry again. And it doesn't work like that.

You can't say, I'm just gonna sleep for seven days and then I won't need to sleep for another seven days. That's not the way God made us, is it? There's something woven into the design of humanity that is a reflection of the way God wants us to live day by day, moment by moment, and from now on. One more thing I want to mention that I notice about manna is that though a gift, manna must be gathered. So the first thing you learned about manna was even though the people were grumbling, God still gave them grace. And yet, though it's a gift, it didn't mean that they were uninvolved in receiving it. The Lord gives every good gift that you'll ever get in your life. There is no good gift in this world that didn't come from God, according to the Bible. But what happens is that God gives gifts and He involves us in the active receiving of the gift. That's a good picture of it, a gathering of the manna.

There's manna there and we'll gather it. I mean, this is the way it works in life. So our daughter Abby, she actually went ahead and graduated a semester early from college and she was looking for an internship in her field of public relations and kind of hard to find a premier internship in the middle of the year like that. She had a lead on one and interviewed with an internship that she thought she had and then she didn't get it and she was very disappointed. And then we began praying about it and the Lord opened up something, she almost was above and beyond what she would have thought with one of the top three PR firms in the nation that was kind of her dream job and not an internship, but a real job. And so she interviewed, she took it, she loves her team and she's working online with team members around the nation. And so she's gonna love it, she's gonna be good at it, but right now she's been at work for, she's worked for five days. And do any of you ever remember what it was like when you started your first real full-time permanent job and you'd been a student before that and you think being a student's hard because you got exams and all that, but when you're a student you get a Christmas break, you get a fall break, you get the whole summer off, you got all this stuff.

And so after the second day of work and she's working hard, she's on the learning curve and she's working hard, getting up early, going and not stopping until pretty late. And after the second day she said, Daddy, she said, how do you ever get out of this thing where you get up in the morning, you work, you work all day, take a little short lunch break and then you're exhausted, you wrap up your workday, have a little supper, maybe watch a TV show and fall in the bed exhausted and get up the next day and do the whole thing over again. How do you get out of that? And I said, here's how you get out of it. You do that every day for the next 45 years and then you retire and that's how you're out.

The fact of the matter is it's a beautiful thing God made us to be able to work. Allen Wright, today's good news message, Manna Every Morning, from our series From Now On. Pastor Alan is back with us in the studio as he shares his parting good news thought for the day. Stay with us. God's love. You've heard about it with your ears.

You've believed it in your mind. Now experience it in your heart with Allen Wright's beloved book, Lover of My Soul. The Bible is a love story from beginning to end. You are the spiritual bride of Christ, the perfect bridegroom. The Bible tells about a God who has gone to unimaginable lengths to woo you, to win you and to walk with you hand in hand. For any man who has fallen in love with a woman, you've tasted the sweetness of what God's love for you is like. For any woman who has searched for true love, which you long for can only be found fully in God. Gary Chapman, renowned author of the five love languages, says, the incredible reality that God pursues us in love comes to life in Lover of My Soul.

Ancient biblical accounts explode in the heart. Accept Christ's proposal. Enjoy his embrace. Revel in his love.

After all, it's a match made in heaven. It's Lover of My Soul by Allen Wright. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.

If you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Back here in the studio sharing Pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day.

I think we do need some good news because, well, working for 40 plus years until retirement, Pastor Alan, that doesn't seem like a good way to end the program. You know, manna, the word manna, it means what is it. And we're never, it's never given any further definition than that. So the Hebrew children are going around saying, what is it? What is it? And they eat the what is it for 40 years. They just eat it. And I like what one person has said about it is that it was a mystery.

What is this stuff? And they ate the mystery. In a very real sense, you know, we are sustained in the Christian life by eating the mystery. Take the word of God. Take the treasures of God in Jesus Christ. Take the things that are just His grace and you don't even understand it all. But take it in. Digest it.

Let it become part of you. God is taking us to a promised land. There's something in front of you and He's got sustaining grace for you. His grace is not something you can always understand, but just eat the mystery. What is it? Well, we can't define it, but it is the grace of God. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-22 08:06:54 / 2023-09-22 08:17:43 / 11

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