Why Did the Manna Stop?

Personal responsibility is key to victory and dominion. There comes a time when you must assume personal responsibility over your outcomes. That is what this message is all about.

Time to grow up!

“On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.” ?
~Joshua 5:12

Every morning, for 40 years, the people of Israel had woken up to find their encampments flooded with manna from heaven. They neither needed to trade, nor cultivate the soil to have their needs met. I’m certain they eventually got to the point that they took this extraordinary phenomenon for granted. Then, one morning, they woke up to something strange…

There was no longer any manna.

I can’t even begin to imagine how most of them may have reacted to this sudden disruption to their daily supply. I can see some of them wandering through the length and breath of their camp looking for what used to be. Of course, there may have been those who didn’t want the manna anymore. The majority, however, must have felt miserable to have their easy meal cut off without warning. They must have felt that God had abandoned them.

There comes a time in your life that spectacular miracles seem to cease. Everything appears to be proceeding along natural pathways. This does not necessarily mean that God has abandoned you; it simply signals that it’s time to grow up, assume personal responsibility for your outcomes, and become a partner with God in creating your own miracles.

Personal responsibility is the third phase of spiritual development

The Journey of the Israelites from Egypt to their promised land could be divided into three phases:

  1. Miraculous Deliverance from Egypt.
  2. Supernatural Provisions in the Wilderness.
  3. Personal Responsibility in Canaan.

The first two phases occurred under the leadership of Moses. They describe what happens when you are more or less a baby in your walk with God. To have everyone instantly beside him and eager to meet his every need, all a new born baby needs to do is wiggle his tiny feet in the air and let out a loud cry.

You probably remember a time in your life – you may still be there right now – when all you needed to do was lift your hands in the air, sing a couple of worship songs, whisper “I love you Lord” and, suddenly, the anointing and favour of the Lord descends mightily upon you.

They are glorious days; but as I’ve already pointed out, there comes a time in your life that spectacular manifestations of God seem to dry up from your life. This does not necessarily mean that God has abandoned you; it simply signals that it’s time to grow up, take responsibility, and become a partner with God in creating your own miracles.

A new leadership

The last phase happened under Joshua. Under Moses, the Israelites enjoyed spectacular miracles, the most significant being the 40-year daily manna windfall. As soon as they got into Canaan and tasted the food of the land, however, the manna ceased. Why was this?

When you reflect on the fact that God chose Joshua to succeed Moses, had Moses anoint him, and refused to permit Moses enter the promised land, it becomes clear that God wanted a change in leadership – a change in style.

“Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.”
~Deuteronomy 34:9

Moses and Joshua were two very different people with different approaches to things.

Moses was a shepherd. For forty years, he led Jethro’s sheep around the back side of the desert. The sheep is probably one of the dumbest of animals; so, it requires that you do everything for it. You have to think for the sheep. You have to provide for it. If you leave it to cater for itself, it will be destroyed. Moses was trained by God to lead a bunch of sheep – aka Israelites in Egypt – through deliverance, and through the wilderness. Thus, he was anointed with tremendous power to do everything for them. But as long as that remained the case, those people were never going to grow up, and would never be able to enter into their inheritance.

So, a new leader had to take his place.

Joshua’s style was different. First, he was a trained soldier, not a shepherd. He was a warrior, a man of personal responsibility. Joshua was a man who would rather have God strengthen him for battle, than merely wipe out his enemies. Joshua didn’t have Moses’ kind of patience with sheep.

By transitioning the leadership from Moses to Joshua, God was manoeuvring Israel from infancy, to maturity; from irresponsibility to partnership.

Observe How the Maker does things

The dispensation of Joshua is the dispensation of wisdom and personal responsibility; not merely miracles. Miracles are meant to serve as signs and tokens. Otherwise, God has provided His word and principles as the guide for daily living. As a matter of fact, God has provided His ways as the path to not merely receiving miracles, but to creating them for yourself, and for others.