The Miracle and The Means

What is the problem you are facing today that is daunting you?  What is the thing that keeps rolling around in your mind that you can’t let go of because you can’t find the solution?  What is the mountain before you that you don’t  know how to get over and are praying that God will just remove?

At times, we all have moments when we cry out to God for the miracle.  We all face the times in our lives when the obstacles seem to be too many and our abilities and resources seem too few.

The Israelites faced this while in the wilderness.  They were literally wandering in a desert without ample ability to grow food.  They cried out to God, and He provided the miracle, manna, literal food from heaven.  It sustained them during the period when God was teaching them obedience and trust.  Then came the day, when God allowed them to enter into the Promised Land, the place that overflowed with milk and honey.  The book of Joshua records this about their experience, “On the day after the Passover, on the very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.  The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year” (Joshua 5: 11-12).

Two things jump out at me from this passage.  

First, God never stops providing. The Israelites went from manna (ready made meals from heaven, delivered daily to their doorstep) to the land of plenty (a fully stocked grocery store at their nearest corner). In the transition from Egypt to the Promised Land, God didn’t pull away and leave them to fend for themselves. He provided both the miracle and the means to sustain them.

Second, the manna stopped the day after the Passover. This would seem to be a minor detail in this passage, but I think it is actually the key to fully understanding it. The Passover was the major event of the year for the Israelites. It was the time when they gathered to remember and celebrate the faithfulness of God who had delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. I don’t think it is a coincidence that God chose the day after this annual event of remembrance to stop delivering the manna. He wanted to make sure that His children remembered the faithfulness of His deliverance and His provision so that when He stopped giving them the meals from heaven, they would understand His provision would continue through the abundance of the Promised Land. He wanted them to see that He could always be trusted to deliver the miracle and the means.

The same is true for you and me.  Everyday is the day after Passover for those who know Jesus as their Savior. The Lamb of God shed His blood so that we could be delivered from the bondage of sin. Everyday, we can live with the reminder and assurance of God’s faithfulness to provide no matter what the problem is. Just as He did for the Israelites, He is doing for you and me through the power of the Holy Spirit.   The Spirit working in and through us is the means for God’s provision and that is the miracle we get to experience today and everyday.

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