“And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.” Joshua 5:12
At first flush, this scripture seems to be a negative one for its opening words speak of there being no more manna, that heavenly food that miraculously fed the Israelites during their 40 year sojourn through the wilderness. Look closely, though, and instead, you will see good news—God’s people had finally made it to the Promised Land. Now at last, here they are in Canaan, the land “flowing with milk and honey.” Food was plentiful, fields were flush around them, and they ate greedily of the “old corn.”
Abundant crops flourished; crops, whose seeds had been planted, fertilized, and cultivated by others were there for the taking. God’s people plucked fruit from vineyards they had not dressed, and pulled “old corn” from stalks they had never tended.
Such bounty comes also to us, God’s children of today. An unwitting “Canaanite” offers a building or a vehicle or makes a large donation to the fledgling church. A rich sermon is preached whose fine points another has long ago developed, anointed lyrics someone else has prepared is sung, a testimony comes hot from a trial in which we had no part, a glorious prayer meeting is in progress as we enter the prayer room, cold and heavy from the day. For today, and for many others, we will eat corn of the new land; we will pull and taste the hanging fruit that ever so carefully has been grown by someone before.
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