Anglican Morning Devotion, 20 November 2021 Anno Domin
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Revelations 2:17; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Though the above verse from the Revelation of Jesus Christ may sound a bit arcane to the casual reader, it need not be. It is pregnant with meaning and substance which will be revealed in our further devotion today.
You will recall that God sent down manna from heaven to the Children of Israel who were famishing in the wilderness. They raised their murmuring voices against Moses and Aaron (but indirectly against the Lord).
“When the Children of Israel saw the Manna, they asked Moses what it was? Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. 16This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 17And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 20Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 21And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.” (Exodus 16:15-21)
This Manna of the Exodus was the physical bread God sent down from Heaven, but it was more descriptive of that spiritual Bread of Life that God would send down from Heaven some 1450 years later – the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ came at a time when the world was famishing for the spiritual food that nourishes the soul of man. The world was in a Wilderness of Sin much like that Wilderness of Sin mentioned in Exodus. (See Exodus 16:1) The physical provisions of the Old Testament point to those spiritual provisions granted in the New.
Let us examine the characteristics of this Manna of Exodus:
Like our Lord Jesus Christ, it came from the Father in Heaven and was prepared in Heaven. It came as a free gift of grace just as the very Author of Grace came down and died as our Redeemer. It was given to all who would receive it – rich, poor, men, women, children, and rulers. The Manna that descended was covered (or hidden) by the dew. The Dew of the Holy Spirit unveils Christ to us. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (Ephesians 3:16-17)
Manna did not come to the Children of Israel while they were yet in bondage in Egypt (a type for sin) just as Christ comes to none who desire to remain in bondage to sin.
It came in small form just as Jesus came as a Babe in the Manger.
It was white which also represents the purity of Jesus Christ.
It distilled as silently as the dew representing the characteristics of the Holy Ghost.
It was just enough for the daily Bread of the people which Jesus is to us. We cannot horde up measures of the Holy Spirit for future times, but must be fed the Bread (Word of God) daily. An old sermon is just as dead and full of worms as old manna.
It came early, even before the Sun, just as we are to seek the Father’s favor and love. (See Psalms 63:1)
The Manna of the wilderness required gathering just as the Word of God requires daily study.
Now, the Manna that comes down from Heaven as the Bread of Life is no mystery to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see; but it is a mystery to those who stop their ears and cover their eyes. Fish that live for centuries in darkness grow scales over the eyes for lack of use. So are many who cannot, or will not, see the wonders of God and His Creation. “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:32-35) Are your eyes and ears open to the Mann from Heaven?
Not only do you need to gather it daily (in reading and diligent study), but also to consume it to make it a part of your whole being and life. Just as we need daily physical bread for our bodily sustenance, so do we need spiritual bread for the sustenance of our souls.