Thursday, July 1, 2010

Daily Manna

When Israel left Egypt and began their trek to the Promised Land, God promised to provide food for them. This was the deal: each morning there would manna for the people to gather. They were to gather just enough for that day, trusting God to provide more the next day. The only exception to this had to do with the Sabbath. You can read about it in Exodus 16.

The notion of the manna is to give pause to the idea of saving up for the future. It does not forbid it, but it slows us down as we consider our choices. Too may 'save up for a rainy day' out of fear. To put this in the worst but clearest light, it's motivated by the thought, 'But what if God does not provide when I need it?' I hope that the utter sinfulness of such a motivation, and thus such a choice, is obvious. He promised to provide for Israel in the desert, and He did so for forty years. Every morning there was manna. He has, likewise, promised to provide for His Church and He has, every day, down through the ages. So, a question. Why this fear? One consequence of this is a lack of generosity to saints in real need. And this failure to love is justified by the claim that one is simply being responsible with his money by putting it in a bank somewhere. More sin. My point is not that saving money is wrong. It isn't. My point is about why we do it. Even a good thing done for the wrong reasons is still evil. Think about the Pharisees.

I freely admit that this is a difficult area, especially in a culture like ours. But Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. Our hope is that as we work at discerning and obeying whatever He calls us to do in this area, He will guide us by His Spirit, patiently teaching us even as we make mistakes - and we will. (Another reason that it is so good that the Gospel is all about grace!)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.19

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