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Why the Manna Ceased When the Israelites Entered the Promised Land
No More Manna
"The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land." (Joshua 5:10-12)
There are several major points that may be gleaned from these three short verses that I believe will impact our lives once we understand the life applications.
This passage marks the end of something and the beginning of something else. Sometimes God is waiting for us to come to the end of one situation before
He will allow another one to take its place.
Joshua has led the Israelites into the promised land, and they are now camped at Gilgal which means “full circle.” The Israelites have come full circle from 430 years in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness. They are at the end of their 40-years of testing in the desert, and a new life in Canaan is now beginning.
Life Application #1
God allows opportunities for transitions
and new beginnings.
About the Manna
Forty years earlier when the Israelites left Egypt and after crossing the Red Sea, they complained to Moses that they didn’t have anything to eat. They said, “Did you bring us out here to die? In Egypt at least we had leaks and cucumbers and other produce from the ground to eat.”
Because Moses cried out to the Lord for food for the Israelites, God supplied
manna for them. For the next 40 years, they ate no vegetables. The staple of their diet was manna.
What is manna? Manna is bread from heaven. Manna is what God fed the
Israelites until they entered the promised land. The manna was provided for their physical nourishment while they were in the wilderness.
Even though God sent manna from heaven, the Israelites were given instructions
to gather it from the ground. In other words, they had to participate in their
own blessings. This was God’s way of testing their obedience.
For six morning they were to gather only enough manna for their family. On the
sixth day, they were to gather enough for two days since they were not allowed
to work on the Sabbath. When they didn’t follow God’s instructions, they found maggots in the manna.
Life Application #2
God's provisions come with instructions to test our obedience.
No Need for More Manna
The manna ceased after the people entered the promised land. There was no need for more manna because the Israelites were no longer traveling in the wilderness. They were in the promised land where they could plant their own food and raise their own crops. They were self-sufficient now.
God supplied manna from heaven when the people really needed it. They no longer needed it because they had settled on their own land.
Having no more manna from the sky for food meant having produce from the ground.
Life Application #3
God supplies all our needs.
However, He gives us resources to become self-sufficient while still relying on Him.
The manna ceased when it was no longer needed. It was provisional. It was temporary. It was conditional. It was incomplete. However, it was for such a time as the wilderness experience, but once out of the wilderness, there was no more manna.
When the manna had served its purpose, it stopped. Travelling in the desert made it impossible for the people to plant vineyards and to raise crops. The desert
is barren and not suitable for growth. However, in the fertile promised
land everything grows in the rich black dirt.
No more manna meant having the best in the promised land. It was the end of the
manna era and the beginning of eating from one’s own vineyards. The wilderness
represented the barren life; a life where nothing can grow. The promised
land, on the other hand, represented abundance. That's why it is described as the land flowing with milk and honey.
The land did not physically flow with milk and honey. This is just a metaphor to illustrate prosperity and God’s abundance without anything having to die.
In order to get milk, nothing has to die. In order to get corn or grain, even the seed has to die. But milk is pure and nutritious. Honey is a food that is made by the bees from its own nectar.
Life Application #4
God gives us what we need when we need it, and when it is no longer necessary, He replaces it with something greater...usually much greater!
Manna: A Type of Christ
The manna was a type, a shadow of what was to come, according to John 6:25-40.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
The manna came down from heaven just as Jesus came down from heaven as a prophecy that Jesus was coming in the flesh. When the manna ceased, it was symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus. God sent manna from heaven to satisfy the Israelites physically.
The greater blessing came when the seeds were raised from the ground for the Israelites. Our greater blessing came when Jesus was raised up from the dead.
The manna came down from heaven in the desert. It was good for them then,
but not for us today. The manna was a natural item that satisfied the Israelites’ physical need. Jesus is our spiritual manna today, and He has promised to feed us till we want no more. In fact, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger for they shall be filled.”
Jesus explains in detail His true identity.
- The real bread did not come from Moses.
- The real bread was sent from heaven sent by God.
- Jesus acknowledges He is the true bread sent from heaven.
- The true bread came to give life and to give it more abundantly.
- The true bread is Jesus, the Bread of Life.
- He who eats the bread shall never hunger. The bread sustains us, it nourishes us.
- The manna in the wilderness was for physical needs.
- Jesus, the Bread of Life is for our spiritual needs.
Aren’t you glad the manna ceased? Aren’t you glad the manna stopped?
Aren’t you glad there is no more manna? Jesus is better than manna.