One of the most intriguing things in the Old Testament account of the manna from heaven was God’s command that no one collect extra in order to have leftovers. Any leftovers would mold by the next morning. The exception was the day before the Sabbath, as everyone was required to rest on the Sabbath. He said something similar in regards to the sacrifices. Certain sacrifices were actually given as food to the priests; this was one way that the priests and their families were supported. However, they were only allowed to keep the food for three days. Anything that was left over had to be burned.
Hmmm…it’s worth pondering, don’t you think? How can such a simple command be applied to our lives? I thought of two possible ways.
1. Hoarding the manna in order to have some for later was an indication of a lack of trust in God’s provision. God had promised to provide, and He expected the people to take Him at His word. This is not a green light for the frivolous spending of my paycheck leftovers once all of the bills have been paid. Rather, I believe that responsible saving of the leftovers is much like Sabbath manna – saving for a time when you will not be able to work or having available funds to help those in need. On the other hand, if a need is presented to me that would prevent me from saving one month, I do not want to hesitate from giving what I have available. That would be a testament to my trust in God’s provision.
2. The sacrifices that were offered to the LORD, for whatever reason, were holy because they were being dedicated unto Him. It didn’t matter that some of them were being used to feed the priests and their households; what mattered was that the people knew their offerings belonged to the Almighty God. He could do whatever He wanted with those sacrifices. Some of them were completely burned or poured out; others were reserved for those whose lives were wholly dedicated to His service. For the priests to allow their portions of the sacrifices to rot would be dishonoring to God; it meant they were not utilizing what had been entrusted to them. How disgraceful it would be for something holy to turn putrid! And so it is with the lives that have been entrusted to us. As Christians our entire existence should be offered unto the LORD to do with whatever He wishes. It is terribly easy to forget that we belong to God and to instead become consumed with the demands on OUR time or become focused on OUR wants and desires or be distracted by OUR troubles. Instead we need to consume our time, energy, and mental abilities with our Savior’s work and glory.
At the end of my life I want to be able to reflect on my material wealth, time usage, energy level, and thought life and be able to say, “I’m used up for Jesus. There are no leftovers to offer Him because I gave Him my all.”