The people remember the deliverance of the Lord with the Passover. This is the first Passover in the Promised Land and the final night of manna from the Lord’s table.
It has been a busy time in the new land for Israel. They entered the Promised Land on the tenth day of the first month. Joshua circumcised ALL the males from the fighting men to the infants at their mother’s breast. And now, four days later, they celebrate the first Passover.
I’m curious if God healed the men of their surgeries sooner, if they pushed through their pain, or if the women took a more active role in this year’s events. The women wouldn’t be allowed to do the actual sacrifices but they could have done all the other preparations. However this Passover progressed, I’m certain that the men remembered it as quite special!
The woman would remember the next day as quite different. Every day of their lives they had risen early in the morning to gather the manna the Lord provided. Each day they would gather only what was needed for their families for that day. On Fridays they would gather twice as much so they would have some for the Sabbath. But this morning there was none to gather.
I don’t know if this was a surprise to the people or not. They could have been gathering the grain they used for a couple of days. They had enough time to grind it into flour for unleavened cakes and to also cook it dry for that day’s meal. It probably wouldn’t have taken any more time to prepare than cakes from the manna but they wouldn’t have had it available for that day’s consumption unless they started preparing it before the Passover. They were NOT to do any work on the Passover that was outside of the ceremony itself so the meal for the day after would have been partially prepared already.
God took this people from scarcity to prosperity. In the beginning with the manna the people feared where their next meal was coming from. The wilderness and wandering didn’t provide them with the opportunity to plant, tend, and harvest crops. They were forever on the move. But here they stood in their new home with crops ready to be harvested.
Fingerprint alert again! God didn’t bring the people into the land in the beginning of planting season so they would have to plant crops to sustain themselves. He didn’t bring them in in the middle of winter where the land was fallow and nothing was available to eat. He didn’t even bring them in during summer where they would have to wait for the crops to mature. He brought them in during harvest. The time when the crops were bursting with flavor and ready to be plucked. He also frightened the natives so severely that they didn’t come out screaming when Israel gathered for their own needs.
God told the people that they would eat of crops they had not planted. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12). THIS was the first day He would fulfill that promise!
I can just imagine the women’s faces as they looked around and saw the produce all around. As they imagined the meals they could prepare with what waited right at hand. With the mouthwatering fruit hanging from the trees within reach. The abundance of the land laying before them was AMAZING. And it ALL was thanks to the Lord. HE had brought them here. He had rolled back the mighty river to let them into this garden. HE was worthy to be praised! And they felt no remorse or anger at the absence of the manna within easy reach. Yes, they would remember the taste of the bread of Heaven but they would be satisfied with what He had replaced it with.
I wonder if there would ever be a day that even a few of the people would long for the taste of Heaven’s bread like their fathers longed for the meat of Egypt. It seems to be our nature to wish for things we cannot have. I wish I could have held and tasted of this unique provision of God. I guess I will have to wait until I’m in Heaven before doing so. Maybe Jesus will help me bake cookies with it to take with us to our special bench.
Father God, You provide SO graciously for ALL my needs. I have more than I need and am able to look at some of my wants because of what You have done in my life. There are two “wants” that I’m considering right now. They would NOT be possible without Your provisions. I need Your direction on these issues. I DON’T want to become so focused on the things that I forget the One who gave them to me and made them possible. I want to “be careful that (I) do not forget (my) Lord.” You have brought me SO far from where I was! You have brought me from the pits of despair to the mountain tops of joy. You have filled my heart with singing again. You have broken the anger that raged inside me and replaced it with You peace. (That is still a work in progress at times but it is MUCH better.) You have planted me in fertile soil, tended my soul and coaxed a harvest from my once dry ground. THANK YOU FATHER for ALL You have done! Keep me walking on Your paths. Illuminate the ones I’m to take so I don’t miss them and put up obvious signs before the ones that I am to avoid.
Holy Spirit speak clearly to my heart. Show me God’s ways that I am to follow. Thank You for always being with me! I look forward to the journey You have mapped out for me.