This morning as I started my Quiet Time, I was hungry for bread, but instead of going back to the Gospel of John, I decided to look through some of the other Gospels to see what else (where else) Jesus may have talked about bread. That’s how I came across Mark 2 and a word I’ve missed in all my previous readings of that passage.
I’ve read through the Bible before, but this word “showbread” escaped me until today. I chased footnotes and looked up references to other verses.
I then found myself in Exodus, reading about the ark of the Testimony. Odd. I don’t remember the ark being referred to in that way. The ark of the Covenant, yes, but not Testimony.
And from Exodus 25, verses 16 and 21: “And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I shall give you.”
What was the Testimony? What was in the ark? What did God think was so important that it should be preserved? I knew, or at least I thought I did. I had to be sure.
- The Ten Commandments
- A golden pot of manna
- Aaron’s rod that budded (I still have to study this one a bit)
I didn’t spend any time on 1 or 3. I focused on manna, not because 1 and 3 aren’t important but because manna is directly related to bread, one of my words for 2011.
Several things stuck out to me during today’s reading. Although much of what I read, I already knew, my study today brought deeper revelation. Rhema.
- God heard the complaints of the people.
- The glory of the Lord appeared.
- He rained down bread from heaven (and quails, but maybe that’s a subject for another post).
- God made provision for each person.
- Even though God provided manna, the people still had to gather, grind and bake.
- The work of manna was daily.
- Except for Sabbath. God made provision for rest.
- God commanded an omer of manna be preserved (in the ark) that all generations will see how God acted on their behalf.
- God’s provision changed when the Israelites were out of the desert.
This simple list somehow doesn’t fully explain the way God spoke to my heart this morning, about His provision in my life, and my ability to tell others of His faithfulness. Nor does it accurately express how blown away I am that Scripture was written with such complexities and that Jesus Himself is the Word that became flesh. That Holy Spirit spoke Truth to the deep places of my heart.
As I journaled, here’s what I heard from God:
“I will give you the Testimony to include in your writing. As surely as I commanded Moses and Aaron to place specific things into the ark, so too will I tell you specifically what to say in blog posts, speaking gigs and books.”
Even though I wrote those words in my journal, purple ink on lined page, the full weight of them didn’t hit me until just now. Typing it out a second time, I see and a lump wells in my throat.
“Your job is to daily gather the manna for as long as it is available. Of my provision, take only what you need. Do the work of gathering, grinding and baking. Daily.
“Lean into Me, the Bread of Life. Take and eat of my Body. My flesh, broken for you. Share in my brokenness, in my suffering and pain.”
(Um, wait, God. This is a post about bread, not about suffering and pain.)
“Eat of Me and be filled. Satisfied, left wanting no more.”
God, how do I respond to your words? How do I work out the Testimony you’ve given me? How do I grind the seeds of provision into something that fills, satisfies, sustains and feeds? How do I share your provision with future generations?
Once again, God spoke:
“Write it out. Daily, for six days. Blog about it, journal about it, or type it. Be less concerned with format than with substance. Don’t worry about the Testimony. Eat daily the food I give you. I will provide both the food and the Testimony.”
Pray with Me?
Jesus, Bread of Life. I hunger for you. Feed me with the bread that satisfies. Give me the strength to do your will. Show me how to die to self, daily, that I may follow hard after You. And may your Testimony in my life be used to bring You fame.
Creative Commons photo on Flickr by podchef.