That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God. (Psalm 78:6-8)
They Ate The Food Of Angels
The nation of Israel is the divine proof of the character of man contending against the nature of God. History serves the purpose of reminding the heart of a man that to understand where he finds himself today he must look back at times past to see how others reacted and through the vision of time see how he will respond to a similar plight. In other words, the greatest failure of humanity is when the lessons of yesterday do not instruct the pupils of today.
One of the reasons the Holy Spirit preserved such a full history of Israel is to teach the disciple of Christ that God has not changed in His personality and the basic tenets of His law remain the same. Asaph was a poet who wrote many psalms as one of three leaders of music during the life of King David. He tells of the tragic history of Israel from the bondage of Egypt to their miraculous exodus by the power of God. The purpose of his psalm is to encourage parents to teach their children the old stories so that the same mistakes will not be made again.
Asaph tells the story of how God did great wonders and miracles for their ancestors by delivering them from Egypt passing through the Red Sea on dry land. The waters were stacked upon each side like walls. God leads the nation by a cloud in the day and a pillar of fire by night. When they complained of being thirsty He provided an abundance of water from the rock. The people murmured against God wanting bread and meat and the Lord rained manna from above and men ate the food of angels. They had so much food they could not eat it all. The Lord brought them quail to eat to their full as thick as dust and as plentiful as the sand on the seashore. No one was thirsty or hungry as the Lord provided everything they needed and they were more than full as the Lord provided them what they craved.
The great tragedy of Israel was that God gave them everything they craved for and desired and they were never satisfied. In their abundance, they forgot the blessings of the Lord and where their provisions came. They did not keep His laws and refused to live by His instructions. The heart of the people continued to sin and rebel against the hand of God. Time and again they tested the Lord for they did not believe in Him or trust Him. After the Lord began to kill them as His wrath was measured out against their rebellion they repented but this did not last. All they gave him was lip service and they worshiped God through the language of lies. The lust of their carnal desires overwhelmed their hearts with the food of angels still in their mouths.
Asaph could write the same psalm today in the heart of men who have seen greater things than the people of Israel. Benefited by two thousand plus years of the full revelation of God, most men reject and deny the power of God. No longer does God provide the physical manifestation of His power to instruct men as He did with Israel when they ate the food of angels. The Lord has given man a book that opens up the portals of Heaven with the divine grace of His love through Jesus Christ and men still rebel and rejects the teachings of God.
Religion is fractured by division as men try to worship God as they desire. When men were not satisfied with the plan of God they devised their own systems of faith and Christianity in a perverted form was created. The world has returned to a time when men reject all the blessings of God for the pursuit of hedonism and the carnality of physical pleasure. Within the body of Christ, there are those who have tasted the heavenly gift and partaken of the Holy Spirit yet despising the manna of God’s word.
The Bible is the manna from heaven as Jesus is the bread of life and the living water of eternal salvation. Eternal life can only come from believing in the power of God and accepting His will as the divine pattern for truth. Most of Israel perished in the wilderness because they did not obey the will of God and did not enter the land of promise. Eternal life will only be given to those who through faith keep the will of the Lord and trust in His word. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Jesus is the bread of life. Whoever comes to Him will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in Him will never be thirsty.