“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
These words, first found in Exodus, speak of the miracle of manna. In the desert, every day for forty years, God provided for his people in such a way that if each person gathered the right amount for themselves, there was enough manna to feed everyone.
Interestingly, Paul sees an ethical implication in this verse. In a time when Christians in Jerusalem were greatly in need of financial assistance, he writes to the Corinthian church about their responsibility to give, telling them, “your abundance at the present time should supply their needs.” He then goes on to say, “As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.’”
In other words, Paul is saying, our finances are modern-day “manna” from God; everything we have ultimately comes from his hand. And just as God’s provision for the Israelites depended in part upon each person gathering only what they needed, so also today in the church. God gives financial “manna” to the people of the church, and he gives it in such a way that the needs of the church are provided for if each person is generous to the degree that he or she is able.
As I think of our church’s end-of-the-year financial needs, I find God’s teaching about manna to be both encouraging and challenging. God is faithful. He calls us to ask only for “our daily bread” each day, and then he provides what we really need for that day. And yet the way he often will do this is through the faithfulness of his people, through each of us giving sacrificially and cheerfully as God gives us opportunity.
I truly look forward to seeing how God will provide for our two congregations in the coming week. And I ask you to be in continued prayer for God to once again provide for our needs.