Thursday 19 April 2012

Bible Book:

"When the sun grew hot, it melted." (v. 21)

Exodus 16:13-26 Thursday 19 April 2012


The Mechilta, a Jewish commentary on the book of Exodus, saysthat when the manna melted in the heat of the day, it formedstreams in the wilderness, from which wild creatures drank -especially deer and gazelle. The creatures roamed far and wide andsome fell prey to hunters from other lands. When the hunters atethe flesh, they tasted the sweetness of the manna and discoveredsomething of the greatness of Israel's praise to God. We mightenjoy a connection with the words of Psalm34:8: "taste and see that the Lord is good", or 42:1: "As a deer longs for flowing streams, somy soul longs for you, O God".

The manna then, is not just a gift to the Israelites. While itserves their needs first, it also provides for wild animals, whichare known by God as we read for example in Psalm50:10-11:

"For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the air,
and all that moves in the field is mine."

Through these creatures, it also becomes sustenance and blessingfor non Jews, who appreciate the goodness of the divine gift evenwithout knowing or understanding its origin. This reflects auniversal spirit in Judaism: although the faith is for the peoplethemselves, they are to be priests for the peoples of the world,who are all known by God. In the Scriptures, we find severalpassages (eg Psalm 67:1-4Isaiah49:6) expressing joy as "the nations" turn to acknowledge theone true God.

Thus in one verse, we discover a door which opens this blessing ofheavenly bread to all the world, the creatures and the peoples who,although they may be 'outside', are still touched with the graceand sweetness of God's goodness.

To Ponder

"Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm34:8). How does this passage speak to your experience ofGod?

When have you felt nourished by God's "manna" inthe "desert"?

Previous Page Wednesday 18 April 2012
Next Page Friday 20 April 2012