“In the morning there was dew all round the camp. When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost. When the Israelites saw it, they didn’t know what it was and asked each other, ‘What is it?’ Moses said to them, ‘This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two litres for each member of his household”.

Ex 16:13, 14, 15, 16 GNB

How much is enough? Whilst millions of people in various parts of the world starve, in other places food gets thrown away. In hotels, ships and other catering places they have to make sure there is more than enough for the possible influx of patrons. Plenty gets left over sometimes.

No doubt when they started out on their journey, Moses knew a thing or two about the desert. He had lived there for a period, minding his father-in-law’s sheep and escaping from the law after killing an Egyptian. In all likelihood Moses had lived on the quails and manna himself and knew what awaited the Israelites. But he didn’t want a situation where some gorged themselves and others had none. The desert was no granary. And it was no place where there was “plenty more where that comes from”.

Christian disciples will take a serious and responsible attitude to food. For one thing their own health requires it, since over-eating is the cause of many illnesses. In additions they will be aware that many poor people the world over are suffering from starvation and malnutrition. And they will pray for a solution to the global problem.


Lord, do another “manna in the wilderness” miracle today.