Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Let us now turn to the various characteristics of manna. In Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 we are given a brief description of manna. In this short description at least fourteen aspects of manna are pointed out. Every aspect is one of the characteristics of manna.
The first characteristic of manna is that it came from heaven (16:4a). Hence, manna is heavenly. Although we do not know the essence or substance of manna, we know that it came from heaven. In Exodus 16:4 the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you.” Manna is difficult to analyze. No doubt, it contained nourishment to meet all the requirements of man’s physical body. Otherwise, it could not have sustained God’s people those many years in the wilderness. On the one hand, manna has all the elements needed to sustain man’s physical body; on the other hand, manna is a heavenly food.
Just as we cannot analyze or explain manna, we cannot analyze or explain the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was sent from heaven by the Father to be the real manna. As the bread which came from heaven, He is the food by which God’s people live. In John 6:51 the Lord Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever.” Who can analyze the essence of Christ as our heavenly food? It is impossible to analyze His substance scientifically. But although we cannot analyze Christ’s essence or fully explain it, He is nonetheless very real. He is invisible and intangible but He is substantial, and He sustains God’s people.
From the time of the Roman Empire until today, many earthly governments and world leaders have tried to quench the Lord’s move on earth. They have also attempted to destroy and annihilate His Body. But all their efforts have been in vain. Christ’s Body could not be destroyed because within the church there is a heavenly essence, a heavenly element, which sustains the church in its sojourn on earth. Because Christ imparts this element into the church, nothing can destroy it or terminate it.
Just as manna sustained nearly two million people in the wilderness for forty years, so Christ as the real manna sustains the church today. This manna does not have its source on earth; it comes down from heaven where God is. Thus, manna is not only heavenly food, but also godly food. On the one hand, the Lord Jesus is “the bread out of heaven”; on the other hand, He is “the bread of God,” the One who came down out of heaven to be our food (John 6:32-33).
In Exodus 16:13 and 14 we see that manna came with the dew: “In the morning the dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing” (Heb.). This small, round thing was manna. Numbers 11:9 also tells us that manna came with the dew; “And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.” It is significant that in sending the quails God used the wind. But in sending the manna, God used dew. Certainly God could have sent the manna without the dew. The fact that manna came with the dew must have a definite spiritual significance. Because my experience of this is not yet complete, I cannot explain fully why manna came with the dew. But according to spiritual experience, I can point out that the dew signifies daily grace, the grace we receive each day. In Psalm 133:3 we read of “the dew of Hermon...the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion.” The dew of Hermon signifies grace which descends from the heavens. Hermon, a high mountain, signifies the heavens, the highest place, from which the dew descends. The dew signifies the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dew is different from rain, snow, or frost. It is softer than rain and not as cold as frost. According to Lamentations 3:22 and 23, God’s mercy, like the dew, is fresh every morning. Mercy in the Old Testament eventually issues in the grace of the New Testament. For this reason, Jeremiah used the word mercy in Lamentations 3. Every morning the Lord’s grace is as fresh as the dew.
We have pointed out a number of times that grace is God reaching us. When God reaches us in a positive manner, full of mercy and compassion, He becomes grace to us. Manna always comes by means of this grace.
We encourage the saints to practice morning watch at the beginning of each day. However, although we may regularly have morning watch, often during our time with the Lord in the morning we do not experience the freshness of dew. Consequently, we do not gather any manna. Instead, the Word seems merely to be letters in black and white. But whenever we experience the dew in the morning watch, we know that God reaches us and visits us. This visitation of God is the Lord as our grace. Our experience testifies that where the dew is, there manna is also.
When we have dew as we read the Word in the morning, the Word truly is food to us. If we do not have the refreshing dew, we cannot have the manna that comes with the dew.
This picture of the manna and the dew is very precious. Truly a picture is better than a thousand words! The dew in the morning is refreshing. Without this dew, this grace, we are very dry. But with the dew we are watered and refreshed. Thank the Lord that manna comes not by itself, but with the dew.
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