WHEN THE MANNA STOPS Andy Hollifield 7-25-18
Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
I have mentioned a lot of times in my writing that the division of chapters and verses is not spiritually discerned but it sure is interesting how God gave someone knowledge to divide them the way they are. Did you notice what chapter we are in? The number five throughout the bible signifies grace. The manna ceased in verse twelve. There were twelve tribes that had come out of the wilderness and were about to begin possessing the land of Canaan. Make of that what you want to cause it’s free.
I have often wondered why the Lord stopped the manna at this point. The simple answer is that it wasn’t needed anymore. They had just crossed through Jordan on dry ground and were in Gilgal on the outskirts of Jericho and the conquest was about to begin. As the former inhabitants of Gilgal fled, they had left corn in the barns and now the Israelites were going to be eating cornbread again. Matthew Henry said that the manna, although it was “angel food,” was a symbol and provision for their wilderness journey. The manna had been provided free all of those years but now had ceased and parched corn was eaten. Can you imagine what it must have been like to those Israelites? They had only eaten manna and quail since leaving Egypt. They may have hunted and eaten game but a lot of them under forty years old had probably never even seen corn much less eaten it. There were a lot of things about to change. They had to be circumcised and could not observe passover until they were. They were going to have to perform all of the sacrifices that Moses had declared unto them.
What I really thought about wasn’t any of those things but rather the fact that when the manna stopped, they were fixing to start fighting and inhabiting the promised land. That is also the cycle that our Christian life seems to follow. We can go awhile on the blessings but at some point we have to get some real nourishment spiritually. That comes by prayer and being obedient to God. A lot of folks begin to fade during this transition from milk to meat. This is the time when we are having to sow, water, and weed, so to speak without seeing immediate results. It is the time when our faith is tested and we learn to depend upon the Lord. I have always been leery of folks that shout it out all the time and are always gung-ho and ready to raid hell with a water pistol and never seem to have a problem. My life has not been that way. Since I began to mature as a Christian, I found out that there are a lot of times in between the free blessings of manna and the great victories. Those times are battles and conquests. Those are times that it sometimes seems that you are having to dog-paddle just to keep your head above water.
Just as sure as Israel had to begin fighting battles after the manna had stopped, so will we. Those fights are where we do our spiritual growing. That is where our faith is tested and grows. This cycle happens all of our lives and we should grow a little more each time we go through it. When we are in those in between times when the manna has stopped, we need to remember that somewhere out ahead of us, if we just keep on keeping on, lies our Canaan. Canaan is not a picture of heaven but of victorious living. It may seem like the battle will never end and the trials will last forever but they don’t. There will come a time that we get to march into Canaan with the sweet victory that God has given us. It may be that prodigal son or daughter coming back to the Lord or maybe just getting saved to begin with. That prayer that you have laid awake nights shedding tears over and pouring your heart out to God may finally be answered. Those objects that you are praying about that, you see someone getting their prayers answered and you wonder, why can’t it be me? God hasn’t forgotten where you are or what you need. It will be you if you keep trusting the Lord. You don’t know what kind of struggles that other person may have had getting to their Canaan. Your time will come but when the manna stops, buckle up because you may be in for a long hard fight to Canaan. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!