Regular readers of these blogs will know that my dogs sometimes give me inspiration. They also give me headaches, not least with their barking, but also with their feeding. This will be familiar to dog owners. Give them chicken, sausage, cheese or any other high value treat, they’ll gobble it up, but give them their main food supply, what’s called kibble, and they turn their noses up and walk away. Hence, we’re now trying to find alternative feeding supplies. It’s a shame that they won’t eat kibble because it’s been specially designed to give them all the nutrients they need. Mind you, having looked at it I can see their point. I think that although it’s good for them they’ve just become bored with it.

It reminds me of the nation of Israel after they were rescued from Egypt by Moses and who later wandered through a desert for forty years. To make sure they didn’t go hungry God miraculously fed them with a special bread called manna, and quail, all they needed. Do you know what happened? One day they complained to Moses, “We detest this miserable food!” (1) That was a shameful thing to say, and they also questioned God’s plan for them, to be even more offensive, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (2) Would they prefer to go back to Egypt to be slaves again, to be oppressed, to be victims of daily antisemitic behaviour? Is that preferable to being free, and can’t they cope with a daily provision of food that they didn’t have to do anything for? It was a gift until the day they entered their promised land where they could eat all the food they could ever imagine. Like so many of us they just complained about their lot and in doing so they criticised God’s salvation and God’s care.

What’s so sad about this story is that the manna, the bread from heaven, is for us a symbol. The Bible says that, “everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.” (3) The rescue of Israel from the land of Egypt teaches us about some great Biblical truths and necessities. It teaches us about salvation when on the first Passover night a lamb had to die. Jesus, the Lamb of God had to die to secure our salvation, which is ours if we put our trust in Jesus. The waters parted at the Red Sea so they could escape the Egyptian army, a picture we’re told of baptism, an act that people who become Christians are supposed to do to show commitment to their Lord and Saviour, Jesus. The bread from heaven, the manna, is another picture of Jesus, who said of himself, “I am the bread of life.” (4) He also said, “I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (5) He then said, “Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (6) Jesus is the one who Christians turn to for all they need in this life, and the life beyond, not just food and water but whatever they need. Once again the Bible says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (7)

Where do you get your supplies? Who meets your needs? Many people recognise they need help and try to find it in all sorts of ways. Tom Cruise looks to Scientology, Shirley MacLaine is a New Ager, Richard Gere is a Buddhist, Cat Stevens went the way of Islam, Cliff Richard follows Christ, as do I. Some people say it doesn’t matter who you follow, it’s all the same God, but it does matter. God said in the Bible, “I the LORD do not change,” (8) so he can’t advocate different practices and different ways to salvation depending on which route you go. He can’t be an unknown God in Islam while also being the Christian God who revealed himself to man through Jesus.

My challenge to you today is to get hold of a Bible and start reading the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, where you’ll be able to taste the bread of life, the Jesus I follow. Do it with an open mind and my confident assertion is that you will find that Jesus satisfies and will be what you’ve been missing in your life, someone who meets all your needs, physical, mental, emotional, material and spiritual.

Bible References:

  • Numbers 21:5
  • Numbers 21:5
  • Romans 15:4
  • John 6:35
  • John 6:32
  • John 6:35
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Malachi 3:6