To the one that conquers I will give some of the hidden manna…” Revelation 2:17
Manna was the sustenance for the people of Israel in the dessert. As they journeyed on toward the Promise land, God would cover the ground with a wafer like substance every morning. This bread was given in response to the people’s grumbling. They were famished;they were lacking. The hunger pain made them quick to complain about their current circumstances. To them, it seemed like God had forgotten about His chosen people. It seemed as if He had forsaken them, for they were hungry.
Hunger does something to the psyche. It is a tyrant that demands satisfaction at once and if it is not satisfied that hunger drives us to grumbling. Complaining about what we are missing, this beast within, causes us to whine and moan. Hunger focuses on what it doesn’t have and will not be silenced until the craving is satisfied.
But it’s not just the stomach that rumbles from hunger, the soul does as well. If you listen closely you can probably hear the rumbling for satisfaction. Or if you can’t hear it you may at least can feel it; that gnawing within for something you are lacking.
As the grumbles of the Israelites reached the throne of heaven, manna covered the ground of the earth. This was a strange substance, nothing like they had ever received before. The wafer like dew was sweet and filled their grappling need. Their hunger was the catalyst for their blessing.
In Exodus 16, Moses tells the people over and over that they can have as much of this bread from heaven as they want; they could eat their fill. God sent manna not to pacify them but to fill the pit of hunger deep within. However, there was one catch; the people would have to harvest it for themselves. Early in the morning in order to get their sustenance for the day, they would get up and go gather the heavenly bread. If they were sluggish it would melt from the heat and their chance for fulfillment would tarry over to the evening.
What is your soul hungry for? What are you seeking? We are all hungry. The hunger within is vital,without it we would miss out on the blessings of God. You see that hunger within tells us there’s something more. That hunger is a testament that there is more to life than what we can see and touch. That this life isn’t limited to this world. That hunger is for something from heaven; divine delicacies.
Jesus said “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall no longer hunger…” John 6:35
As I studied about this manna I came across an interesting tradition that was passed down through the ages. God told the people to save some of the manna and put it in the ark of the covenant. This “hidden manna” was kept safe and sound in the temple, locked away in the ark of the covenant until the time of the Babylonian invasion. Then it is said, that God told Jeremiah the prophet to get the manna and bury it at mount Sinai and then when the Messiah would come the manna would be “revealed”. I don’t know how much merit that holds or if it’s true or not since we don’t find it in scripture but what we do know is that God answered the cry of our hungry souls by sending the Bread of heaven.
Yet in Revelation we see a promise to all who conquer the sly temptation of settling for lesser things. Our temptation will be to fill our souls with anything that seems religious. But it will not work. That hunger within us can only be stilled by something from Heaven.
It was still dark, the women clung to one another as they approached the sealed tomb. They new it was too early to be at the tomb but they didn’t care. They could not wait another moment; their souls were gnawing at them. They fumbled through the garden to the place Joseph laid their Lord. As they approached the tomb, they gasped for their breath….the seal was broken, the tomb was open. Perplexed, they cautiously entered the cave. Their eyes were staining to see in the dark, when they realized His body was gone. Suddenly light filled the dark and two angels said “why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen….” The women fled the scene, scared out of their minds…all except Mary.
As the sun peeked over the horizon Mary Magadelene searched the garden. Her tears must have echoed through the country side, they told the story of a hungry woman, a woman who had found what her soul craved. But now she had lost it.
Suddenly someone asked her “Woman why are ahoy crying? Whom are you seeking?
Beside herself she said “Sir, if you have taken him away tell me where you laid Him and I will go get Him.”
She was to the point that she would do anything to find Him. That’s what happens once Jesus has satisfied your hunger; you become more desperate for Him then ever.
Moved with compassion Jesus called her name “Mary…”
He was under her nose the entire time. What she had mistaken as the Gardner turned out to be the one who held her heart. There He was; what was hidden in the tomb was now revealed.
The same Greek word for hidden in Revelation 2, is the same word for “seal” used in the account of Jesus’ burial.
Also, in John 6:27
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal.”
The Bread of life has been revealed to you;The Hidden Manna exposed. Hear Him call you name, as an invitation to come and partake of the hidden manna your soul craves. Just like the manna in the wilderness, you may have all you can bear of the Bread of Life.
Come eat your fill. There is enough the satisfy the most hungry of souls. And we can exclaim, along with Mary “I have seen the Lord”