Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Has the Manna become Stale?


  Exodus 16:31  And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

  Numbers 11:6-8  But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.  And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

  Numbers 21:5  And the people spoke against God and against Moses: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread."

  John 6:49-51  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.



Manna was a miraculous food provided to sustain the children of Israel on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.  Likely they ate some meat and had some milk from the flocks that were with them as well, particularly on the feast days.   But their staple every day was manna.  It started out tasting good, but by the end of their journey, they were tired of it.  You will notice that at first it tasted like honey, then like oil, and then it was light bread that had grown distasteful to them.


Manna speaks of Christ.  He is the living bread which came down from heaven.  Eating the living bread (which in the context of John chapter 6 speaks of appropriating by faith the work and person of Christ) gives eternal life.  One would think that we as Christians would never tire of hearing about Christ and His love and sacrifice.  But we are living in a day when the basic truths of the Gospel have become stale.  We are more interested in telling people how to live than we are in telling them about the Savior that we say we love.  We are more interested in “fun” than we are in the solemn preaching about “sin” and salvation through the “Son.”  We are told that the preaching of the Gospel is “boring," and yet you can’t preach the Gospel without preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ.  (See Ephesians 3:8 and 1 Corinthians 1:23).


The Ephesian Church

This congregation was likely established in the late 50’s.  They were doing well when Paul wrote to them in the early 60’s but by the end of the first century they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).  Their first love had to have been Christ.  Preaching Him, worshiping Him and serving Him had to have been their early motivation.  But within 30 to 40 years, the manna had become stale.  They had good works, but they had lost their way.  They were warned that unless that got re-centered on their first love, the Lord would remove them as a testimony in their locality. 


We Need Balance

I realize that we need good teaching.  We who are saved need to know what pleases the Lord.  But a good presentation of the Gospel provides good teaching about the manna from heaven. And that is teaching that we all need.  It reminds Christians of their great sin and of God’s great love.  It challenges the unsaved to think about their eternal destinies.  We can get all theological about what an assembly meeting is and what it should contain and who should be benefited.  But if, in a meeting that is primarily for Christians, we have those who are not saved shouldn’t we take that opportunity to preach the sweet strains of the saving Gospel to them?  If we don’t do that how can we say that we love the unsaved?  How can we say that we love the Lord?  How can we say that we are still thrilled with the Lord who died to save us?  How can we say that we really believe that the unsaved die and go to a place of eternal conscious punishment?


Let’s not Let the Gospel become Stale

The Gospel never became stale to Paul.  In his last epistle to his friend Timothy he says, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (2 Timothy 1:12).”  Paul was about to be martyred.  He says that the time of his departure was at hand.  The light that Paul saw on the Damascus Road had gotten brighter every time he told how he was reached and saved and that light was giving him courage at the end of his earthly journey.  He loved to tell the story of his conversion.  It never got old and boring.  May Christ and the Gospel and the story of our conversion never grow stale in our lives.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 6, 2017

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