Month 11:12, Week 2:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year 5935:299 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 4 February 2012
The Spirits of Egypt
III. Cucumbers, Melons & Manna
Continued from Part 2
There is, as I mentioned yesterday, a craving in the human lev (heart) for the things of Egypt, here depicted as attractive foods since on this occasion it was their bellies complaining at the simple manna diet. All memories of their cruel bondage and slavery were forgotten because they had become people of the moment - they had already forgotten the recent past and in a moment of insanity were craving it.
"Now when the people complained, it displeased Yahweh; for Yahweh heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of Yahweh burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to Yahweh, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of Yahweh had burned among them.
"Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: 'Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!'" (Num.11:1-6, NKJV).
The spirit of Egypt defies logic. It fundamentally lacks wisdom. Like the carnal spirit of Esau, it prefers the satisfaction of the moment to any long-term considerations. It does not look into either the future or the eternities and forgets the lessons once learned in the past. That's one reason the Bible lays such a heavy emphasis on historical memories, so much so that this particular one was to be recalled every Pesach (Passover), Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) and Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits). Indeed, learning the lessons of history is so important for us that Yahweh has commanded us to devote no less than four of the seven annual festivals to recounting important wilderness events. We neglect the lessons of history at our peril.
When I was a boy, history was very important in school. Today it is down-played and people know almost nothing. History, such as it is taught in schools is, moreover, highly selective. I can imagine an historical curriculum for Egyptianised Israelites reminding people about the wonders and blessings of government-provided cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic whilst saying nothing about the truth of their slavery. But then that's the whole purpose of state-schooling, is it not? - to persuade us we are not slaves and need only the diet that Pharaoh provides for our supposed well-being.
A people who don't know they are slaves, because they have been fed so many lies for so long and have come to believe them, obviously are not interested in liberty until Pharaoh starts applying the thumb-screws to get more work or money out of them. The only 'liberty' they know of is that afforded by cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic - in modern parlance, whatever the government supplies in the supermarkets. Slaves have to be fed, so naturally oppressors will provide just enough food to which the people become accustomed and dependent on.
Not that the Western diet has much to commend it anymore. Our food is full of poisons. Our government-sponsored diet is slowly killing us. For an education in the state of food today, just go to NaturalNew.com. That's why so many believers are waking up and turning to natural foods. It means giving up a lot of foods we have grown accustomed to and comfortable with, foods that have actually given us unnatural cravings. Not that I am knocking cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic, of course, but I certainly wouldn't want you to eat GMO varieties of these or the ones stuffed with carcinogenic preservatives in government-approved supermarkets.
Just as dieting and exercising is quite a shock to the body initially, so changing spiritual diet is quite a shock at first too. Many coming to Torah for the first time react with horror at the responsibility that they must now carry. The difference between the world's spiritual diet and Heaven's is not at all unlike comparing cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic with manna.
What was the physical manna like? It was the Israel's staple diet for 40 years in the desert (Ex.16:35) while the first generation of unrepentant Israelies died off so that the next one could be raised that knew only manna and were therefore content with it. Provided supernaturally by Yahweh in the latter half of the second month (vv.1-4) of the exodus, it holds within it important clues as to how to be a successful overcomer thriving in Yahweh's dimension of reality and on Yahweh's diet of emet (truth).
Manna and emunah (faith) are inextricably intertwined. The word manna is actually the Hebrew man hu? or 'What is it?' The Hebrews were eating 'What is it?' (Ex.16:13-15; 11:9). They had no idea what this amazing sustenance was. It was sweet like honey, was pure white, and was waxlike. Once ground in a hand-mill or pounded in a mortar, it was either boiled or made into cakes and bread. It was the nearest thing to a dieter's protein-powder mix filled with essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and amino acids, even though no natural substance today remotely approximates it. As an all-in-one diet, the best comparsion would be a solid, adult version of a baby's breast milk.
The Egyptian spirit is totally sceptical that a self-sufficient formula for life can be contained in Yahweh's Torah. I am holding in my hand here a copy of the 1981 edition of Norges Lover or the Laws of Norway. It's a lot bigger than the 2,000 pages of this edition. It is crushingly boring as reading material and I doubt anyone but a Norwegian lawyer would ever want to become acquainted with it, and then only selectively. It's not even 'complete' as it doesn't tell you how to live, only some of the things you can't do. It reminds me a bit of the Talmud...which was bigger and even more useless!
The Bible is much smaller and it is a complete, self-sufficient manual for life. It's Yahweh's gift of spiritual manna to His people. Some parts, like the Torah or Law in the first five books of Moses, are mostly skipped or skimmed by believers today, and at great spiritual cost, because they regard them as both boring and inapplicable. It's manna is not colourful enough for them.
The problem with this lazy attitude is that it does not solve the need of the soul to be filled, and being that a spiritual vacuum is left by disregarding much of Yahweh's mitzvot (commandments), people naturally fill in the hole with 'Egyptian' customs. They turn to the world to supply the missing parts they have chosen to ignore, whether it be the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights, the laws of the nations in which they live, the principles of false religion, or simply their own unredeemed passions. What you end up with is a pot pourri lifestyle as varied as the many gods of Egypt itself.
Manna is an illustration of the perfect tavnith (pattern) of essential spiritual foodstuffs leading to echad (oneness) in terms of health, be it physical or spiritual. Just as no artificial milk will ever match the perfection of mother's milk, so no smörgåsbord of human and divine laws will ever lead to spiritual perfection or wholeness. Quite the opposite - just as artificial mother's milk killed and maimed scores of babies in Africa when it was introduced there by the big corporations, so the artificial spiritual diet of men will do the same to your spiritual life, ruining your chances of heaven.
Let's not also forget the fact that when Yahweh's people reject His Torah-Manna it infuriates Him. It's not just self-destructive, it's also an affront to the Most High. Complaining makes Him furious, arousing His anger. It's much the same feeling that godly men feel when their wives complain about not being provided with more worldly things. True men of Yahweh provide their families with the complete tavnith diet, pure scriptural manna - it's not their responsibility to serve "cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic" in a worldly jail house, but to provide the essentials in true spiritual liberty. We are Manna-Men, not Cucumber-Men.
"What is it?" most Christians ask when presented with the manna of Torah? The answer to that question is learned at Shavu'ot or Pentecost which we're supposed to observe every summer, to remind us that Yahweh expects us to obey even before we know what He is going to ask of us or before we have understood. That's called emunah - faith, and is what we live by in Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ). We have no right to demand an explanation, only to expect adequate provision. Understanding comes later after the doing. It's His Way of Ahavah (Love). Be happy with manna.
To walk Yahweh's Derech or Way requires that we do not yield to "intense craving". Notice that it was the "mixed multitude" that set the Israelites off and got them complaining, those not of Israelite origin. That is why, as I have said so many times before, believers are not permitted to marry unbelievers, for the Egyptian cravings of the unbelievers will only place impossible demands on believing spouses. Yahweh did not treat these complainers kindly:
The spirit of Egypt, which is the spirit of the flesh, is a deadly disease which Yahweh purges out violently as one cuts out a cancer to save the life of the one infected. This is not to say that the Israelites were 'superior stuff' to the Egyptians for they too acted diabolically. But they have moved a major step ahead and Yahweh does not want them back-stepping to appease the carnally-minded. Jacob did not follow in the way of Esau and neither must we.
"So the fire of Yahweh burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to Yahweh, the fire was quenched. So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of Yahweh had burned among them".
There is nothing wrong with cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic; the problems occur when they are the satanic bait for bondage. Yahweh's manna contains the best of cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic and much more - in a matrix of liberty. They weren't needed after all.
I repeat, Yahweh hates complaining just as a godly husband loathes a complaining wife who craves for Egypt in whatever form. I hate it. Sadly, many return to Egypt and back to the house of bondage...and all for perishable cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. Idiots!
See that you do not imitate these debased Egyptian ways and sell your soul for a few useless vegetables. Yahweh has better things in store for you if you will trust and obey. Return to the Household of Emunah (Faith), eat the Manna provided, and find rest for your soul. Amen.
Continued in Part 4
Comments from Readers
"With reading this, I really was reminded of Esau, and both where it Scripture speaks of how he despised his birthright (and with that Elohim and what Elohim had granted in His grace to give him) by exchanging that for the bowl of lentil stew - of how much we need by Elohim's grace to be careful not to despise Him and the grace He has given, and give up what is truly precious for a passing or carnal desire. The writer of Hebrews gave a sober warning with this:
Otherwise while reading, I thought about of what a good name or description 'Manna' is for the gospel - Where both the ‘Jew’ looking for a signs and the ‘Greeks’ looking for worldly wisdom look at it and say 'What is it?'... Yet its the Bread that came from Heaven, that will sustain unto everlasting life :)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of Elohim (God) ; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:14-17).
Indeed as I write this, thinking how Yah’shua (Jesus) in John 6:30-39 was specifically speaking about the manna given when He spoke about that He himself is the bread of Life :) How He is the ‘manna’ or 'What is it?' that has been given from heaven - different and unlike anything we have ever seen or known, yet if we will receive Him more than enough for us, both to satisfy, and give everlasting life :D
Like Elohim calls us to be like and be a reflection of Yah’shua (Jesus), I want to be manna or a 'Was it it?' from Elohim – because of Elohim’s work in me, different from what people have seen or known, yet because of His gospel, being what satisfies and brings life for those who will receive it" (DP, South Africa, 3 February 2012).