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Monday, July 30, 2018

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What is it? In Hebrew the word for manna means "What is it?" The Hebrew people have complained and God has responded. Still, as the people look at this flaky, white provision, they ask, "What is it?" This scene reminds me of cooking for my own children. I might put a new dish in front of them and see in response a contorted little face asking, "What is it?" Let me help you out here. It is food. It is bread from heaven, so be thankful.

Sometimes in our own lives we do not recognize God's bread for us. To the Hebrew people and to my own children, God's provision sometimes looks a little new and scary. We need the "Moseses" and the moms of our lives to point out how God shows up to feed us. So eat up! It is good for you!

God of mystery and manna, open my heart to trying new things as the Spirit leads. Help me to trust in the provision you give. Amen.

Jamie Brieske '14
Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, Wisc.

Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 (NRSV)

2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not...
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, "Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.' "
10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said,
12 "I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, "At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.' "
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.