Joshua tells us that the miraculous manna suddenly ceased. That food which had come down from above since the days of the nation’s infancy would now come up from the ground since that they had matured into manhood. The powerful Presence that had been their guide while they wandered in the wilderness would now give to them the power to guide themselves. Until now every man had been fed by the hand of God, but from this time forward every man was to feed one another. The manna would no longer miraculously and spontaneously fall from the skies. Now it would be the husband’s responsibility to feed his wife, the parent’s responsibility to feed their children, and the strong’s responsibility to feed the weak. For forty years they had been nourished by way of the heavenly food, but from this point forward they would eat of the food of Canaan. In the absence of the miraculous manna they would gather from the food of the land.
Would such a drastic change cause you to worry or fret? Would hearing this make you want to go back to the wilderness and once again taste Heaven’s manna? Would you miss the miraculous, unexplainable manna every morning? Would it bother to have to go back to the “old way” of gathering grain because it is part of the first laws of creation? Do you think that God’s greatest gifts are those things that come riding in invisible chariots? Do you think that God’s love is less spectacular when you are able to watch it work? Do you think that God’s care is less amazing when it happens the same way, every day?
If so, you have missed the higher meaning and greater glory of this amazing account. It was not the manna that was most amazing. It was the simple, common, everyday food of the land. When we eat of the food of the land, we may not be nourished by angelic messengers like Elijah, but that doesn’t make our “messengers” any less “heavenly.” You see, the very same God who sent the manna also set the seasons. He’s the One who sends the sun and the rain, as well as the love of human hearts and service of human hands. He doesn’t feed your neighbors with angel’s food so that you can have the opportunity of being a blessing by giving them of your food. He doesn’t send the ravens into the deserts of your life because He doesn’t want to rob your neighbor of the blessing of coming and giving to you. Don’t fuss and fret over the fact that the manna has stopped, but rather rejoice that because of God’s great love you are able to eat of, and share in, the produce of the land.