Whoever desires something else than what God offers, will not have real joy and happiness in those things and situations that present themselves. That’s the way it was with Israel. They had Manna. Not for nothing was this called “food of angels”. You could be forgiven to long for that divine and celestial food even when seated at royal tables stacked with this worlds most delicious dishes. It really was that good. Yet the Israelites had too much of this delicacy. They were tired of it. They despised it. They called this heavenly bread despicable. That’s how they provoked God. That’s why they received punishment instead of ongoing graces. Despising and turning ones back on God’s good gifts provokes his anger and punishment. Whoever pulls up his nose at God’s table and at his most precious offerings and gifts, should not expect God to force these unto him. Rather he should prepare himself for God’s retribution in kind. Remember he is a very jealous God and quite particular about his honour and glory. He doesn’t take rejection easy. Yes, Jesus says that God doesn’t give anybody a snake, who asks for bread. However whoever forsakes and rejects his bread given from heaven, will have to do with fiery snakes for sure – just as the warning example of the Israelites in the desert goes to prove.
Among us there is a growing rejection of the very bread that God sent from heaven and gives life to this world. Therefore this is a very timely warning! God wants to save us – and especially those who are tempted to reject the truth of his holy word. He desires our salvation. He seeks the lost and calls them back home. Hear his dear voice calling. Open your eyes and your ears that you beware of temptation to seek something else than God himself and his goodness +
Dear Father in heaven! Do not cease to be gracious and merciful to us even if we don’t deserve this. Spread your blessed arms over our fields, gardens and pastures. Gladden our hearts with the goodness of your heart and protect us and the crop and herds from wintery cold, freezing storm, fire, drought and tempest. We are all waiting for you and your help and mercy. Let our hope not be disappointed. Take care of us and discipline us too, so that we flourish to your honour and glory, but don’t receive your grace in vain. Turn everything away from us, that would hinder your work in our souls and lives. Don’t let the trees of the fields and forests put us to shame with their load of fruits and ample goodness. Rather let us follow their good example and bring forth good fruit that remains to life eternal. Everything that breathes, praises your holy name! Dear Father in heaven, let us too join this jubilation and exultation to your honour and glory. Give that our whole life be a faithful and ongoing sacrifice of thanksgiving and obedience. Praise the Lord o my soul! Amen.
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday after the ninth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 280 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.