14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.”
There’s a word you might hear periodically relating to things like WiFi and smart phones. The word is “ubiquitous,” which, according to the dictionary, means present, appearing, or found everywhere. Given the two examples, I think everyone would agree that this word fits. There’s something else to consider ubiquitous: bread. Within the warmer climates of the Earth, virtually every culture has some form of bread. In some cultures, it’s key to eating because they don’t have utensils, other than their hands.
The people of Israel had left Egypt with their unleavened bread and their kneading boards bound to their shoulders, but it wouldn’t last long. Forty-five days after they left Egypt, they were out of food. The Israelites complained about a lack of meat and bread, whereupon God gives them bread in the form of manna. Their need for food was taken care of, but hunger would always return and the manna they ate was needed again and again as they journeyed the wilderness for 40 years.
The Christians at Pergamum are suffering for Jesus. They’re standing up to the intense suffering one would find where the seat of the enemy resides. Certainly, the evil one is pushing and bashing in wherever possible on their lives and their relationship with Jesus, but Jesus asks them to withstand and maintain their faith, even at the expense of their life. For this faithfulness they would receive the ‘hidden manna.’ Jesus himself speaks about manna, and its true form.
31 Our fathers ate manna when they wandered in the desert. The Hebrew Scriptures say, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus: 32 I tell you the truth: Moses did not give you bread from heaven; it is My Father who offers you true bread from heaven. 33 The bread of God comes down out of heaven and breathes life into the cosmos.
Crowd: 34 Master, we want a boundless supply of this bread.
Jesus: 35 I am the bread that gives life. If you come to My table and eat, you will never go hungry. Believe in Me, and you will never go thirsty. (John 6:31-35, The Voice)
Jesus is our manna, our bread! The bread he serves at his table assuages the hunger our souls feel such that we’ll never hunger again. Our faithfulness to Jesus and his calling in all times, whether they are times of struggle, trial, and persecution, or times where we are blessed, is rewarded, just as the Christians in Pergamum were promised.
By Rich Obrecht