The Manna Cookbook (Deuteronomy 8:3-4)

“Okay! Who’s ready for manna pancakes?”


“Manna wrap with goat cheese, anyone?”


I don’t know if conversations like this ever transpired but if manna was the only food the Israelites ate for forty years wandering in the dessert, I would not be surprised if creative and innovative recipes were circulated through the families and tribes. Perhaps there was even a manna cookbook!


Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Exodus 16:31 (ESV)


Now that sounds good!


Manna was a complete food. It was a miracle that God provided sustenance in the dessert. And when God provides, he does so completely! Not even subtle nutritional requirements, completely unknown to the ancient world, are overlooked.


And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.

Deuteronomy 8:3-4 (ESV)


As a physician, if a patient informed me that they were only eating one type of food for forty years, I would be concerned about malnutrition. There are many vitamin deficiencies that can occur. The last description in this passage of the Israelites feet not swelling reminds me of beriberi, a deficiency of vitamin B1. In severe cases, heart failure can result and one sign is lower extremity edema or foot swelling.


Like manna, what additional benefits does God provide for me when I am obedient to Him? By His grace and mercy, He has given me eternal life and salvation when I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Isn’t this enough? He has further blessed me with my health, a family, and a job. These additional benefits were not promised to me but God provides exceedingly abundantly so that I am complete and lacking in nothing. And yet, after time, I am sometimes embittered toward God for not offering additional options. How shallow and ephemeral is my gratitude! Like the manna, I have grown accustomed to the bountifulness of God’s provisions, still seeking more, and failing to be grateful that He is preparing an ever greater eternal weight of glory for me when I enter Heaven.


I am seeking a manna cookbook and greater variety; what I need is more manna! I need more of Jesus Christ, my manna, my Bread of Life.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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