God having provided manna to be his people’s food in the wilderness, and to be to them a continual feast, we are here told, 1. How the memory of it was preserved. An omer of this manna was laid up in a golden pot, as we are told (Heb. 9:4), and kept before the testimony, or the ark, when it was afterwards made, Exod. 16:32-34. The preservation of this manna from waste and corruption was a standing miracle, and therefore the more proper memorial of this miraculous food. “Posterity shall see the bread,” says God, “wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness,” see what sort of food it was, and how much each man’s daily proportion of it was, that it may appear they were neither kept to hard fare nor to short allowance, and then judge between God and Israel, whether they had any cause given them to murmur and find fault with their provisions, and whether they and their seed after them had not a great deal of reason gratefully to won God’s goodness to them. Note, Eaten bread must not be forgotten. God’s miracles and mercies are to be had in everlasting remembrance, for our encouragement to trust in him at all times. 2. How the mercy of it was continued as long as they had occasion for it. The manna never ceased till they came to the borders of Canaan, where there was bread enough and to spare, Exod. 16:35. See how constant the care of Providence is; seedtime and harvest fail not, while the earth remains. Israel was very provoking in the wilderness, yet the manna never failed them: thus still God causes his rain to fall on the just and unjust. The manna is called spiritual meat (1 Cor. 10:3), because it was typical of spiritual blessings in heavenly things. Christ himself is the true manna, the bread of life, of which this was a figure, John 6:49-51. The word of God is the manna by which our souls are nourished, Matt. 4:4. The comforts of the Spirit are hidden manna, Rev. 2:17. These come from heaven, as the manna did, and are the support and comfort of the divine life in the soul, while we are in the wilderness of this world. It is food for Israelites, for those only that follow the pillar of cloud and fire. It is to be gathered; Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our opportunities, which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather. The manna they gathered must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those that have received Christ must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is a complete sufficiency, and no superfluity. But those that did eat manna hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well-pleased; whereas those that feed on Christ by faith shall never hunger, and shall die no more, and with them God will be for ever well pleased. The Lord evermore give us this bread!
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