Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
If we would understand the Bible, we need heavenly enlightenment and vision. This is especially true if we are to see the spiritual significance of the various matters in the book of Exodus. In the foregoing messages we have seen that Exodus is a book of pictures. However, if we have no light and no vision as we read this book, we shall not be able to grasp the meaning of all these pictures.
Many Christians know that during the years of wandering in the wilderness, the children of Israel ate manna. But not many of them know in a thorough and adequate way the significance of the manna in Exodus 16. They may be familiar with the story in Exodus, and they may even know that manna is a type of Christ as food to us. But they do not have a full realization of the importance of eating as recorded in this chapter.
The concept of eating is a basic and underlying concept in the Bible. As we review the importance of eating in the Scriptures, we need to remember the principle of first mention. According to this principle, the first mention of a matter in the Bible governs its meaning throughout the Scriptures. After God created man, He gave him a command and a warning about eating: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17). Eating is a basic concept in the divine Word because it concerns man’s relationship to God. Therefore, after describing the creation of man, the Bible speaks of man’s living, which is related to eating.
In Genesis 1:26 we see that man was created in God’s image and after His likeness. The words “image” and “likeness” indicate that man is to be God’s expression. However, image and likeness are both somewhat outward. They do not necessarily involve inward content. For this reason, Genesis 2 shows the importance of man’s eating. This chapter reveals that God’s intention for man was that man would eat of the tree of life. Outwardly man possessed God’s image and likeness. But inwardly man needed to take the fruit of the tree of life into him as his content. The tree of life no doubt is a symbol of God as life to man. According to His eternal plan, God created man in His image and after His likeness so that man might express Him. Then God placed the man He had created in front of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9) with the intention that man take God into him to be his very life. This is the first reference to eating in the Scriptures.
At the end of the Bible, in Revelation 22, we once again see the tree of life. Verse 2 says that on either side of the river which flows from the throne of God and the Lamb there is the tree of life. Verse 14 goes on to say that those who wash their robes have right to the tree of life. Verse 19 refers to our share in the tree of life. These references in Revelation 22 all indicate that in eternity and for eternity God’s redeemed people will be eating of this tree. Furthermore, Revelation 2:7 says that those who overcome will eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
After man’s fall, God came in to redeem His people. The Passover is a complete picture of God’s redemption and of God’s intention and purpose in redemption. According to the picture in Exodus 12, the concept of eating is basic and central in redemption also. At the time of the Passover, the blood of the lamb was put on the “two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses” wherein the lamb was eaten (Exo. 12:7). Then the people ate the flesh of the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (v. 8).
Furthermore, the main point in Exodus 16 is the eating of manna. This chapter does not deal with behavior, conduct, or self-improvement; it deals with eating. In John 6 the Lord Jesus clearly said that He was the real manna, sent from heaven by God the Father to be food for God’s chosen people. Therefore, it is vital for us to learn how to eat Him. In verse 32 the Lord Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses has not given you the bread out of heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread out of heaven.” Then the Lord went on to say that the one who eats Him will live because of Him (v. 57). Manna is also mentioned in Revelation 2:17, where we are told that the Lord will “give of the hidden manna” to the one who overcomes. These verses help us to see that in the Bible the concept of eating is basic and central.
We all realize that in order to live properly we need to eat properly. If we take in poison, for example, we shall surely die. I once read an article which said that a person’s diet can affect his temper. According to this article, a child’s temper in particular is affected by his diet. This illustrates the importance of the proper spiritual eating. Surely if we partake of Christ as the real manna, we shall find it difficult to lose our temper. As we have pointed out in a foregoing message, this heavenly food causes our lusts to be restricted. It also deals with our selfish ambition. On the one hand, the heavenly manna nourishes us and heals us; on the other hand, it eliminates the negative things in us. Because eating is such a crucial matter, the regulating of man’s diet is another basic concept in the Bible.
Do you know what brought about the fall of man? Man fell by eating improperly. In the same principle, we are saved and healed by eating in a proper way. Man fell by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, but he is saved and recovered by eating of the tree of life.
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