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"Save some manna for future generations"

August 15, 2022

Daily Scripture

Exodus 16:11-16, 31-33, Hebrews 9:4-5

Exodus 16

11 The Lord spoke to Moses, 12 “I’ve heard the complaints of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat. And in the morning you will have your fill of bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 In the evening a flock of quail flew down and covered the camp. And in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the desert surface were thin flakes, as thin as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What [Hebrew man (= What?); cf. Exodus 16:31] is it?” They didn’t know what it was.
Moses said to them, “This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Collect as much of it as each of you can eat, one omer [two quarts] per person. You may collect for the number of people in your household.’”

31 The Israelite people called it manna (“What is it?,” as in verse 15). It was like coriander seed, white, and tasted like honey wafers. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept safe for future generations so that they can see the food that I used to feed you in the desert when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”
33 Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put one full omer of manna in it. Then set it in the Lord’s presence, where it should be kept safe for future generations.”

Hebrews 9

4 It had the gold altar for incense and the chest containing the covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. In the chest there was a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the chest there were magnificent winged creatures [Hebrew cherubim] casting their shadow over the seat of the chest, where sin is taken care of. Right now we can’t talk about these things in detail.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Had you been with Indiana Jones when he found the Ark of the Covenant (okay, that was just a movie—no one has ever found that sacred gold-covered wooden chest), you’d have expected it to hold the Ten Commandments (“stone tablets of the covenant”). But you might not have expected a “gold jar containing manna” (whether miraculously preserved or all dried out). God showed a deep interest in “future generations” by telling Israel to keep that jar in their most sacred place.

  • We still sometimes call something good that we didn’t expect “manna from heaven,” an allusion to the way Israelite history said this food just appeared in the desert after God promised it. The name was a Hebrew pun. “Manna” echoed the phrase “man hu,” which meant “What is it?” (or even “What is this stuff?”). When has God provided for your good in a way that surprised, or even puzzled, you?
  • Surely no one would ever forget food appearing every day. Yet God told Moses to keep some manna as a reminder “for future generations.” Israel needed that reminder. In Numbers 11:4-15 we read that the Israelites whined so much about the manna that Moses asked God to take his life. How can you help “future generations” recall the good things God has done? (Spoiler: “things were better back in my day” rarely helps.) How can your church nurture future generations?

Lord God, thank you for the ways (often through your caring people) you have sent “manna” into my life. Help me effectively share those stories with future generations. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Kersee Meyer

Kersee Meyer

Kersee is a part of the Resurrection Experience team at the church and works alongside other creative folks to make videos to connect people to community, their faith and God.

As a 6th grader, I remember lying down in the middle of a field, under the stars, and giving my life to Christ for the first time. The worship leader was playing music and I cried silently, at the end of summer camp with Rezlife. My story isn’t an uncommon one, but it was still something I wasn’t expecting to experience.

It almost feels too cliché. I feel almost embarrassed to share it with you now, but it’s how God provided for me in a moment when I needed it the most. My life is radically different because of that cliché moment.

From that point it felt like my faith was now my own. Which is true, but what I didn’t realize is that God would send so many people to share their legacy, their manna, with me. My youth pastors, small group leaders and volunteers impacted the trajectory of my life.

What is it…
What legacy are we trying to leave behind?

As an adult I’ve been reflecting on the different ways the church should nurture future generations. I think the first is to show up–connect with the younger generations by volunteering. If time isn’t an option, then considering donating to experiences that could help shape them. Donate to different things so students have the opportunity to go on mission trips, summer camps and fall retreats.

I hope we can all pray about ways to share the legacy that God is calling us to. It can truly change an entire person’s life, just like it did for me.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.