The Principle Of Balance
A Balanced Ministry
“This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” – Exodus 16:16-18
What an awesome sight it must have been; each morning rising to find another day’s sustenance lying on the ground, ready to be picked up and prepared for the day’s meals. Verse 31 of the same chapter tells us it was like “wafers made with honey.” It is difficult to say exactly what the manna from heaven really was, but it is not difficult to know what it was for. The Israelites were in desperate need of food during their long trek toward the Promised Land of Canaan. The vast multitude of those in the exodus had to be strong and fit for the journey, but where would they find food in that barren landscape? The Lord, however, had already worked it out in His divine plan. When those in the throngs of Israelites asked one another what this strange new blessing from the heavens might be, they could only wonder at its supernatural nature. “Manna” might simply be translated as “What is this?”
Moses had the answer. Symbolic of the day when Jesus, the Almighty robed in flesh, would come from heaven to save His people from their sin, Moses declared the manna to be “the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” It was supernatural bread from heaven. Not only supplying the nutritional needs of the Israelites, this manna spoke of another bread that would one day come from heaven to supply the spiritual needs of a starving and dying world. In John 6:47-50 Jesus declared to His disciples, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.”
Equally interesting, however, and in line with the fifth principle of revival we will study, is that there was always exactly enough for the needs of the people. If someone gathered too little, there would be a neighbor somewhere that had gathered more than enough. The manna given was in perfect proportion to the needs of Israel during their travels. It‘s the same for the Church today. As we continue on our journey toward eternity, Jesus has everything we might ever need, and He is always ready to share it with His children as the needs arise. It may well be that what some have been given in terms of gifts and ministries is more than what other saints have received by God’s grace, but all of it is supplied with a view to a perfect supply in a perfect balance.
It is also worth noting that the Apostle Paul uses the example of the manna in his second epistle to the Corinthians. The context of chapter eight of that Book is unselfish and Spirit-led giving. Paul was relating to the Corinthians the generosity and liberal attitude in giving that had been displayed by the saints of the Macedonian church. The apostle had been astounded at the more than generous gift the Macedonians had begged him to receive and take to their suffering brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. He recognized that they had given far beyond what he had thought was their capability, not realizing that they had been moved with compassion and directed by the Holy Spirit to do what they could in the name of service to the body of Christ. And so here, in chapters eight and nine, he exhorts the Corinthian saints to excel to a greater ministry in giving.
The subject of giving is not unlike that of ministry. In fact, they are nearly the same in essence. While we might normally think of “giving” as having to do with monetary donations, giving is really just about giving! It can come in any form of church ministry, whether in worship, in the offering, in fellowship, in teaching (and learning), in service, in mentoring, in witnessing, or in burden bearing. And in the Church, there is as much to give as there are needs. Like giving the manna that came from heaven, Jesus, by His grace, bestows on us His blessings, His gifts and talents, and His direction for the use of these things. There are those that will gather much of what is poured out, and others might receive less, but it is all there to be shared and to meet the present and future needs of the body of Christ as it continues to grow. It is given, like the manna in Exodus, in direct proportion to the need, and it is always given in balance. Ministries, therefore, should be considered in terms of being thus balanced in the Church.
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