You can’t have a sense of humor and read the Bible and not see God, too, has a sense of humor. As a journalist who’s always preferred non-fiction, I find the best humor is oftentimes in the detailed accounts of all-too-real circumstances.

 

A passage that always cracks me up is in Numbers 11 when the children of Israel weep to Moses about the manna, rattling off for him a certain grocery list of foods they miss, namely fish, cucumbers, melon, leeks, onions and garlic.

 

They bitterly complain that their “soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes,” causing Moses to just completely lose it. He prays to God, in essence, “JUST KILL ME NOW!”

 

The classic chapter reads in part, “And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.
[10] Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
[11] And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
[12] Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?
[13] Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
[14] I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
[15] And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

 

*****

 

As Jordan explains the scene, “Moses parts the Red Sea and God delivers Israel from a violent, terrible death. What He did for them is He literally delivered them from satanic activity. The reason there were 10 plagues is there were 10 false Gods that Egypt worshipped that held the (people) in captivity.

 

“So when they complain, ‘We had all that wonderful diet back there and now our soul’s dried away from all the manna,’ you see how this is a heart issue?

 

“They say they’re bored with the stuff. Well, the passage tells us ‘manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.’ It says, ‘And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.’

 

“Bdellium is a white crystal that really is translucent. It’s sort of like mother-of-pearl color and every way you look at it you can see another depth or dimension to it like it’s three-dimensional. Now is that boring?!

 

“It says they ground it and beat it. You see why it’s a type of Christ? Exodus says it was sweet. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit. This was not a monotonous type of food. You could make lots of different (entrees) from it. Go to Deuteronomy 32 and you see they were able to make lots of different recipes. This was a wonderful stuff to eat.

 

“It says the manna fell upon the dew. It was so precious that God wouldn’t make it land on the earth. He made it land on the dew.

 

“From Psalm 133 we know dew is a symbol. It’s like the precious ointment. Verse 3 says, ‘As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.’

 

“Dew represents that blessing that God gave to Israel for the world. And the manna rested on God’s plan and purpose for the nation Israel. That’s why He gave the manna TO Israel. It was so the life could be given to Israel as a nation and they could then go be in the earth God’s nation and take His blessings to the world through them.”

 

*****

 

While manna is mentioned in nine different books in the Bible, there are two Old Testament chapters—Exodus 16 and Numbers 11--where manna is set forth for its enduring “bread of life” message, serving as both a picture and type of the Lord Jesus Christ in His incarnation and the Word of God.

 

In John 6, for example, when the skeptical Jews ask Christ to give them a sign that they might believe, reasoning that “our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat,” Jesus responds, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven . . . I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

 

Jordan explains, “Just like they weren’t going to hunger back there (in Exodus) if they ate the manna, the message was whatever they needed, the provision was going to fulfill the need. Christ said, ‘I am the bread of life. He that believeth on me shall never hunger, never thirst.’ It won’t be the temporary provision the manna was—this is going to be the power for them to become the sons of God . . .

 

“You see, what God’s telling them (in the wilderness) is, ‘Whatever you need, I’m going to provide it for you. I got this thing planned out ahead of time; you just trust me and go where I take you, and when you go where I take you, and do what I tell you to do, you’ll find that the provision for Israel, for you, is already there.’

 

“Now, had they learned that they would have been far better off. You get to Exodus 19, though, and you learn they didn’t learn anything about it! But what God’s demonstrating is His grace to them.”

 

*****

 

Exodus 16: 1-2 reports, “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:”

 

Jordan says, “Notice they took their journey and all the congregation ‘came unto the wilderness of Sin.’ Now how about that for a name?! Does that sound like that’s going to be a good place to be?! Well, a wilderness is a homeless place and it’s a wilderness of sin.

 

“So, the setting in which God’s going to give the manna is a rather dark background of man’s rebellion. When God brings them out of Egypt, He provides the healing for the water at Marah, takes them to Elim where there’s all kind of special provisions for them and then when God picks them up and moves them what do you think faith should have said?

 

“ ‘Wherever He leads me I’ll go; wherever He wants me to go I can trust Him!’ Because why? ‘Because He can take care of me!’ He just took care of the thirst issue, the water issue, the healing issue.

 

“But they didn’t learn that. They murmured, and they said, ‘You brought us out here to starve us to death! We remember being in Egypt. Where we had the flesh pots. And we could eat ’til we were full!’ (Exodus 16:3)

 

“Now, when they were in Egypt they were slaves. So they had a slave’s diet. Well, maybe that’s better than having nothing to eat at all. That is what they’re saying. Right then the Lord could have smote them, but watch what God does: ‘Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.’ (Exodus 16:4)

 

“God’s saying, ‘Look what I’m going to do for you, Moses. I’m going to rain it down from heaven, but I’m not going to rain fire and brimstone and wrath and judgment.’ You remember Genesis 18 and 19? Sodom and Gomorrah? He rained fire and brimstone from heaven? He could do it—they knew He could do it—but he said, ‘I’m going to rain bread from heaven.’ He didn’t call it manna here.

 

“He said, ‘I’m going to send you some food that will satisfy your hunger that’s good for everybody, that anybody can eat, and you can go out and get it.’ When He says there that it’s food from heaven, that means it’s of divine origin: ‘God’s going to send this.’

 

“It’s not something man’s going to produce; God’s going to do it. And by the way, when He says it’s going to rain . . . When something rains, it rains on the just and the unjust alike. When something rains, it’s a visible thing and it’s abundant—everybody gets some of it.

 

“And boy, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen statistics but, in a good rain storm, there are literally millions of gallons of water that fall out of the sky. It’s staggering. There’s this abundance that’s going to be given Israel!

 

“You see in verse 5 where it says you can gather the manna at a certain rate? The rate you gather at is in verse 16: ‘According to the number of your persons . . .’

 

“In other words, they were to go out and whatever—one was how many ever people you had in your house and two was whatever your appetite was. Some people have big appetites; they need more. Some people have little appetites; they don’t need so much. No matter what your appetite was, or how many people you had, what you gathered was exactly what you needed to satisfy the appetite that you had. The rate was according to the eating.

 

“It says there was ‘an omer for every man’ and an omer is a tenth part of an ephod. The Scofield Reference Bible tells us an ephod is a bushel and three pints, and an omer is 6.7 pints.

 

“Now, the estimate here is there are about two million Israelis at this time. You get that because Numbers 1 says that when they numbered them, there were 600,000 men ready to go to war. So, if you’ve conservatively got 2 million people and they’re all going to pick up six pints, that’s 12 million pints, which would translate into 9 million pounds!

 

“Every day they went out and collected four and a half tons of this manna! Can you imagine how many box cars that is? How many 18-wheelers it would take to load that four and a half tons of stuff? I mean, this is a humongous supply and it showed up every day!

 

“And if they didn’t go out and get it, verse 20 says ‘it bred worms and stank.’ I mean, if you leave the stuff out and don’t pick it up, ‘P-U, what a mess!’ And, by the way, when it landed, wherever the people were they could just go outside of their house and there it was! They didn’t have to go to six blocks away to find it—it was there available for them immediately. The provision was there every morning.

 

“They went out in the morning to get it but it showed up at night. Again, they’re asleep; they’re not doing anything. God sends it. The end of verse 15 says, ‘This is the bread which the Lord hath given you.’ Manna was a gift from God. He rained it down from heaven. It’s everywhere and it was abundant. And it satisfied any of their needs.

 

“All they had to do was go out and gather it. By the way, they had to go out each person and gather it for themselves, but if it’s on the ground, what did they have to do to get it? You had to stoop over. You had to bow down. A stiff-necked person who wouldn’t bow down wound up hungry.”

 

(Editor’s Note: To be continued . . . )