Where Are the Manna Silos?

When Joseph was in charge of the Egypt’s agriculture he built many storage facilities to hold the excess grain during the 7 years of plenty.  We might call these silos.  During the 7 famine years these silos were used to keep the nation, and its people, alive.  In fact, it not only supplied grain to Egypt, but to other countries, too.

We move forward around 400 years and find the Hebrews are leaving Egypt and headed for the Promised Land.  But, there are delays, and they spend the next 40 years in the wilderness and desert regions.  What will they do for food?  Well, God supplied them with a food from heaven called manna (or “what is it?”).  It stands to reason that they might want to build some silos like Joseph did, some 400 years before.  That would be great, and they would be assured of plenty for the future.

But, there’s a problem.  Manna will not last beyond one day, before it spoils.  It cannot be stored up, or preserved.  One must wonder why God would work things this way.  Why couldn’t manna be stored and used against the future?  After all, there might be days when it is too hot, or too wet, or too cold, to go out and gather the manna.  I might be sick and not able to go out and get it.

If we stop and think for a moment, however, we could come up with some pretty good reasons why God may have thought His plan for manna was best.

Reason One – God’s plan calls for individual effort.  Each family must go and gather for themselves.  In short, God’s plan requires work.

Reason Two – Here’s where it gets interesting.  What would happen if manna could be stored up?  Well, a couple of things would happen.  Some industrious individuals would have cornered the manna market, and built silos and charged excessive fees to those who decided they were too lazy to gather manna.  Within a short period of time you would have had manna ‘millionaires’, and those who were manna debtors.  There would have been black-markets that dealt in nothing but manna trades.  Perhaps, they would have setup a stock exchange, too – “Hey, buddy.  Gotta tip for ya.  Buy manna at 3.  I expect it will hit 5 before the week is out.”  Yes, it would have been a nightmare if God would have allowed them to store manna up instead of providing it on a day by day basis.

So, what is the sum of what we are saying here?  I think it is pretty simple.  God knows best how to provide and to deal with man (I use this term to include men, women, children).  His way, although it seems flawed at times, is perfect.  If there is a flaw it is in our own perception and understanding.  His way provided food and clothing for approximately three million people for forty years.  That’s a lot of food.

It is not much different today.  People are constantly looking for way where they can get everything they want and need without having to work for it.  I call it the ‘golden ticket’ syndrome, after the Willy Wonka golden ticket.  The ‘golden ticket’ is where we hit the ‘bonanza’ and no longer have to worry about providing for ourselves or our family.  Everything is taken care of.  But, is that really how God designed things?  Or, does He require us to continue working and gathering manna, and if someone is sick or dying maybe gather a little for them, too?

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