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Joshua Chapter 5 - Moving Beyond Manna

Joshua 5:9-15

After the circumcision of the men in the camp was completed, the Lord told Joshua that He had rolled away the reproach of Egypt from the people. No more would they be identified as slaves.  The circumcision "cut away" all remaining ties to slavery.  Bondage completely removed.  Totally set free.  Isn't it interesting God declares them totally from their bondage only after the Children of Israel had sanctified themselves, crossed the Jordan River, set stones of remembrance, and circumcised those that had not been circumcised while in the wilderness?  After performing miracle after miracle to release the slaves from Pharaoh, they were still not free.  After seeing the Red Sea part and crossing on dry ground, they were still not free.  After being fed and their thirst quenched in the wilderness by supernatural means, they were still not free.  Only after experiencing the circumcision and crossing into the land that was promised to them did God tell them the last of their chains of bondage had been removed.  

What did the children of Israel do then?  They celebrated Passover. They remembered the time the Spirit of the Lord passed over their firstborn when He took the firstborn of all Egypt because Pharaoh's refusal to free His people.  The Lord then commanded Moses to keep the Passover as a memorial and it was to be kept as a feast to the Lord throughout all their generations (Exodus 12).  So, they held their Passover Feast on the 14th day of the month. 


Up until that point, the Children of Israel had been collecting Manna that God provided from heaven every morning and quail for the evening meals every day.  God provided what each person would need to sustain themselves on a daily basis.  In Exodus Chapter 16, God was pretty specific with His instruction on how much to collect each day.  On the sixth day of the week, they were to collect their normal amount and prepare it and it would be twice as much.  The sabbath would be the next day and they would not work or collect on the sabbath so they needed an additional day's worth of provision.  This pattern of quail and manna continued until they held their Passover Feast on the other side of Jordan River.  At this point, they have crossed over the boundary into what God has promised.  They have reached the land they had heard stories about.  When they held passover, they ate of the produce of the land they were occupying...the place where God had declared the last chain of bondage broken.  Then the manna ceased.  Then they ate of the promise of the Lord. 

Doesn't this parallel what Jesus said about worry and anxiety?  


Matthew 6:25-30  "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  (26)  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  (27)  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  (28)  "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  (29)  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Italics are mine for emphasis above.  Isn't life more than worrying about food and clothes?  Our Father in Heaven provides what we need each and every day.  Jesus makes it very clear in these scriptures.  He also said as rich as Solomon was with the blessings God heaped upon Solomon, he was not clothed as even the lilies of the field.  So, If God is taking care of all these things today, then how much more will He provide and care for us?

But Jesus goes on in the same set of scriptures to say:


Matthew 6:31-34  "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  (32)  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  (33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  (34)  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

The Children of Israel had nothing worry about.  God provided bread and meat every day and met their needs every day...but only for that day.  They had to collect the bread the next day and quail was sent again each evening.  This continued until they moved into the fullness of the promise of God, which was a land of plenty and abundance.  Once they entered into the promise, they had no need of daily provision, for God had provided the abundance.  They had proven they could keep His law.  They had followed the instruction for sanctification before crossing the Jordan.  They submitted to circumcision...which I am fairly certain was not a very easy decision for many of the men.  As an adult male, the procedure is very painful I am sure, and yet they submitted to it.  They set their memorial of stones.  They held their Passover Feast as a memorial to the Lord.  They had been obedient and they were led to the border of Canaan across from Jericho to begin their possession of the land they were promised as a dwelling place. 

See, we can live somewhere, but it only be a temporary stop until we have possessed fully what God has given us.  To receive the fullness of the promises God has made to us, we have to display obedience...not just physical obedience.  We have to undergo the circumcision of the heart, too. (See yesterday's post)  We are to seek Him and His righteousness first.  We cannot move into something we have not prepared for.  For those of us in the business world, we see this all the time.  We see someone promoted that does not have the life experiences or knowledge that has prepared them for the position in which they were placed.  Education does not prepare someone fully for a position.  We don't want to be promoted into the promise until we have undergone the full extent of preparation that God has for us to complete.  You see, in Exodus 16 God said too Moses:


Exodus 16:4  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

The amount of manna each household was to collect was a test from the Lord to see if they would follow His law.  in v. 17 we see where the Children of Israel did in fact collect the manna according to the instruction.  Those who gathered more had none left over and those who gathered less had no lack of food.  But there was an additional instruction they did not heed.  V.19:


Exodus 16:19  And Moses said, "Let no one leave any of it till morning."

What did Children of Israel do?

Exodus 16:20  Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.

While they were in their time of testing and obedience, they were not to take more than their due.  They were not to attempt to stockpile or store any extra. Doing so would show them to be less than faithful to a God that had supernaturally delivered them from the bonds of slavery.  And yet, they did.  What did God do?  He made the "left over" sour and rot.  God did not provide the abundance during the time of testing and learning.  He did not provide the abundance until they had made it to the place He was leading them to.  There were many, a whole generation in fact, that were so disobedient that the Lord did not allow the Children of Israel to find the promised land until that generation had all died in the wilderness.  Disobedience to the commands of the Lord is not to be taken lightly.  My husband said it best last night when we were talking about this subject.  We have to prove we are faithful to Him and obedient in the time of less so we will be faithful in the time of plenty.  

Luke 16:10-11  He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.  (11)  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

After all of this, after the first Passover Feast in the Promised Land, the Commander of the Army of the Lord appeared to Joshua.  And so would begin the preparation of taking possession of the Land God had promised them.  

If the Children of Israel can be used as an example, then we should learn to be satisfied and content with what God provides for that day.  Every day.  There will come a time when we must move beyond manna, because the promise will be fulfilled. We are to learn obedience, make preparations, sanctify ourselves, and remember what the Lord has done for us to move beyond the daily provision and into the abundance He promises.




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This post first appeared on Living In The Word, please read the originial post: here

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Joshua Chapter 5 - Moving Beyond Manna

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