I was reading today in Joshua 5:10-12. These don’t seem to be very important verses in the Bible. They are stuck between the Israelites crossing the Jordan river and defeating Jericho. However, if you look at them closely they are significant. They tell us about the Israelites celebrating Passover and then it talks about the manna they had been eating all the while they were wondering in the desert stopped. It stopped because they finally got to a place that had food they could eat off the land.
This is significant for a few reasons. One, is that can you imagine walking around in the desert for 40 years and having nothing to eat except that which God literally rained from heaven in the form of manna? There was nothing to eat in the desert. They were at the mercy of God to give them nourishment. And they could not stockpile the manna, they tried and it went bad. I am a couponer and I have a pretty good stockpile of food. My family could eat off of it and be just fine for a few weeks at least. It makes me feel comforted to know I have food for my family, should I need it. But that was not the case here. The Israelites got only the food which they needed for that day. Can you imagine living like that all the time? Some of us do, I am sure. We all go through seasons in our lives where we have to depend on God to such an extend as this. Where we may not have food for that day, but not often. That must have really been an exercise in faith for them, to have to depend on God in such a significant way. And I am sure it was for most, but you find that in the Bible some of the Israelites actually had the guts to complain about having to eat manna day after day. Bless their hearts! I don’t think I would have done that, but in some ways I do complain about God’s provision for me at times. Sometimes it doesn’t come when I want it to or in the way I think it should. And I complain.
God did provide for the Israelites everyday, just as He does for us. Sometimes we can get so comfortable in our own provision for ourselves that we forget it’s all God’s. God is the one who gives you the money you have, all of it. He is the one who allows you to have a job and blesses you to have whatever things you have, large or small. In these verses in Joshua, we find that God provided the manna for the people until the exact time at which they could then gather food for themselves. I think that detail is interesting. It proves to me, as if experience didn’t already, that God is a God of details. He is on time. He does things in just the right time when we need it. He does not often give us things in advance, but we can trust that if we need something it will be there, at the exact moment we need it. He does this so that we will know it is He who is in charge and not us.
God provides for us in the desert places and also in the promised land flowing with milk and honey. We all have desert places and places of abundance in our lives. Whichever place you are in right now, God is providing for you. Don’t forget that everything you have is God’s and you did not gain any of it by your own power. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Give freely, knowing the God has given what you have freely to you. Trust that He has it handled, and He will provide all your NEEDS, whether in the desert or the place of abundance.