Our fathers did eat manna in the desert - Their argument seems to run thus: Thou hast, we grant, fed five thousand men with five loaves and two small fishes; but what is this in comparison of what Moses did in the desert, who for forty years fed more than a million of persons with bread from heaven: do something like this, and then we will believe in thee, as we have believed in Moses.
Our fathers - The Jews who were led by Moses through the wilderness.
Did eat manna - This was the name given by the Jews to the food which was furnished to them by God in their journey. It means literally, “What is this?” and was the question which they asked when they first saw it, Exodus 16:14-15. It was small like frost, and of the size of coriander-seed, and had a sweetish taste like honey. It fell in great quantities, and was regarded by the Jews as proof of a continued miracle during forty years, and was incontestable evidence of the interposition of God in favor of their fathers. The manna which is sold in the shops of druggists is a different substance from this. It is obtained from the bark of certain trees in Armenia, Georgia, Persia, and Arabia. It is procured, as resin is, by making an incision in the bark, and it flows out or distils from the tree.
As it is written - The substance of this is written in Psalm 78:24-25.
He gave them - This was regarded as a miraculous interference in their behalf, and an attestation of the divine mission of Moses, and hence they said familiarly that Moses gave it to them.
Bread from heaven - The word “heaven,” in the Scriptures, denotes often the region of the air, the atmosphere, or that region in which the clouds are. See Matthew 16:3; “The sky (heaven) is red and lowering.” Also Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:15; Luke 5:18. The Jews, as appears from their writings (see Lightfoot), expected that the Messiah would provide his followers with plenty of delicious food; and as Moses had provided for the Jews in the wilderness, so they supposed that Christ would make provision for the temporal wants of his friends. This was the sign, probably, which they were now desirous of seeing.
Our sanctification is God's object in all His dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity that we may be holy. Christ gave Himself for our redemption, that through our faith in His power to save from sin, we might be made complete in Him. In giving us His Word, He has given us bread from heaven. He declares that, if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall receive eternal life. Why do we not dwell more upon this? Why do we not strive to make it easily understood, when it means so much? Why do not Christians open their eyes to see the work God requires them to do? Sanctification is the progressive work of a lifetime. The Lord declares, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Is it your will that your desires and inclinations shall be brought into conformity to the divine will? UL 284.3Read in context »
Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. John 6:31. TDG 77.1
The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerned their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude, and came within the province of divine law. It was because the Lord desired to make them His representatives that He provided them with a special bill of fare. They were placed under careful restrictions in regard to their diet. The use of flesh food was almost entirely prohibited. The people were to be holy, and the Lord knew that the use of flesh meat would be a hindrance to their advancement in spiritual life. By a miracle of mercy He fed them with the bread of heaven. The food provided for them was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength, and ...the wisdom of God's choice for them was vindicated in a manner that they could not gainsay. Notwithstanding the hardships of their wilderness life, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes. TDG 77.2Read in context »
God requires of us conformity to His image. Holiness is the reflection from His people of the bright rays of His glory. But in order to reflect this glory, man must work with God. The heart and mind must be emptied of all that leads to wrong. The Word of God must be read and studied with an earnest desire to gain from it spiritual power. The bread of heaven must be eaten and digested, that it may become a part of the life. Thus we gain eternal life. Then is answered the prayer of the Saviour, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”—Letter 153, 1902. 3SM 203.2Read in context »
Those with whom the Christian comes in contact have a right to know what has been revealed to the follower of Christ, and he is to make it known both by precept and example. The Christian is to publish the good news of salvation, and he is never to weary of the recital of God's goodness. He is continually to draw with Christ, and continually to draw from Christ, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of man, which Jesus declares are His words, that are spirit and life. Thus he will always have a fresh supply of heavenly manna. Every Christian, high or low, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, is to talk of the kingdom of God, to speak of Christ and Him crucified, to those who are in ignorance and sin. You are to speak to sinners; for you know not but God is moving upon their hearts. Never forget that great responsibility attaches to every word you utter in their presence.... PM 285.1Read in context »