A Way Through The Wilderness
Beauty For Ashes Part II - George H. Warnock
CHAPTER 3 - THE WILDERNESS OF SIN
"Bread From Heaven"
"And all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt" (Ex. 16:1).
They had been on the road one month. Their supply of food was running out. Once again the evil of their hearts was revealed; and the faithfulness of their God during the past month was forgotten. But God knew what He would do. "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you... that I may prove them..." (Ex. 16:4). Notice this, that in every way the Lord was leading them, He was "proving" them. He was testing them to reveal the inherent corruption of their nature, and at the same time to show them His way for them, and His own faithfulness. Marah was to prove them; and now this strange bread from heaven was to prove them. To supply their need, yes; but it was more. It was to test them, to try them, to prove them. It is not difficult for us to get God's blessings. God will continue to bless His people; but He wants to test us and to prove us, whether or not we can qualify for the Land of Canaan. There are many who experience the blessings of God who will continue to reject any attempt of the Lord to try them and to prove them. Yet this is required of the people who are going to qualify for the conquest of Canaan. We will have much more to say about the Manna when we come to the Wilderness of Paran. But right here we want to emphasize that this miraculous bread from Heaven, this food that is called "The Corn of Heaven," and "Angels' Food," was some thing that supplied their need in spirit, soul, and body; but it fell short of satisfying every desire of their hearts. God designed it that way; for God must deal with the undisciplined desire of His people to get... and get... and get, if He is going to prepare them for the Life in the Spirit, which is a life of... giving ...giving...
This precious food could not be stored up, and if they tried to do so, it bred worms and stank. Yet there was always sufficient for every need, for God sent a fresh supply every morning. They simply had to gather it, according as they had need; and if some happened to gather more than they needed, then the surplus was shared with those who did not gather enough. Incidentally, it is the "Manna principle" that has become the New Testament principle of giving and sharing:
"But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: THAT THERE MAY BE EQUALITY: as it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack" (2 Cor. 8:14-15).
God has much work to do in His people yet, to bring us to that kind of "equality" that He desires in the New Covenant people; and here it is set forth in the Manna principle. God will continue to discipline the Canaan-bound people until they have learned to use what God has provided for their daily needs, and to make the rest available to those who stand in need. The true disciples of the Lord must be prepared to FORSAKE ALL in order to be His disciples. And they will do it gladly... not because there is some apostle or prophet or ecclesiastical structure requiring it, but because in their walk with the Lord, and in their pursuit of the Land of Fruitfulness, they are going to discover that "It is more blessed to give than to receive".
Chapter 4 - The Wilderness of Sinai
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