The Manna.

The provision for this, another day in the wilderness.

H. C. Anstey.

Christian Friend vol. 18, 1891, p. 19.

The blessed Lord was ever God's delight, perfect in all His ways as Man down here. The manna, "the bread that came down from heaven," always doing the business of the Father - ever pleasing God and doing His will - such was His path in the midst of all that characterizes man naturally; namely, the pleasing of ourselves.

And we Christians have to "gather up" the manna. God has given it to us as our supply for the wilderness - Himself in His perfect path and service. God has given us that blessed, humbled One as Man down here. There is Christ for us all. Every morning there the manna lay in the wilderness, round about the camp of God's people, "a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground." It is not doctrine, but Christ; a plentiful supply for all, and for strength in wilderness need. It might be trampled upon, but they had to "gather it up"; and so have we, and this needs diligence and earnestness, and a refusal of "myself," and my "things." (Phil. 2:21.)

Do you want God to see in your life and actions anything different from what He saw in Christ? "Ah! no," you say; "but I have the flesh in me, and He had not." And it is just because you are not perfect that God has given you Christ, the perfect One, for every detail of your path. You must gather up the manna, "every man according to his eating." You and I want Christ for every occasion, because the flesh (Gal. 2:17) is always desirous to obtrude itself. The flesh does not assert itself in us all in a similar way, or come out with the same provocation. No, every Christian requires the manna, and must gather it up "according to his eating." Christ "gathered" meets the need of every occasion.

That blessed walk of thirty-three years on this earth for God! Did not God delight in it? He did, He does still; for the pot of manna was "laid up before the Lord, to be kept." God will never forget it. Do I want to please God? I must keep it ever before me. I must gather it up daily, and I must feed upon it whenever I hunger (the hunger is the need of the wilderness).

Would not God have Christ, in all His separation from the course of this world, in all that lonely path of obedience and REST, reproduced in every one of us? Is not a Christian GOD'S workmanship, an "epistle of Christ," "known and read of all men"? How much of this very day have I been occupied in gathering up my soul's food - in gathering up the manna? "Oh for more knowledge myself of what the manna is!" Surely every believer will say "Amen" to this - more gathering of it - more feeding upon it. After another night's sleep in the wilderness what was the first thing that greeted an Israelite going out of his tent door? It was God's provision for him for that day. Christ for me for this day, and Christ for God. Nothing else fully satisfies Him.

"Nothing but Christ, as on we tread."

"I am among you as he that serveth." "I receive not honour from men." True honour comes from God only. (John 5:41, 44.) If I know something of gathering up the manna, Christ's friends (mark it well) will be my friends. His path will be mine, His joy mine, His interests mine. The meekness and gentleness of Christ I shall know, if only a little, a something about it. And the world - this poor world, with all its pomp, and pride, and empty VANITY - will be to me "vanity of vanities; all is vanity." He is real and she is real, amidst all its unreality, whose eye is on CHRIST, and who is seeking, through grace (for all is of grace) to walk here daily "as He walked." H. C. A.