How Could Heavenly Manna Breed Stinking Worms?

Exodus 16:14 – And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

Exodus 16:15 – And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.

Exodus 16:16 – 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.

Exodus 16:17 – And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.

Exodus 16:18 – 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 16:19 – And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.

Exodus 16:20 – Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Hello readers, today I want to talk about the manna that bred worms. There’s an ugly picture in the middle of a beautiful picture in Exodus 16. How could it all get so ugly? And what do we take from it when we read about it today? Exodus 16 is the chapter in the Bible where God sends manna to feed his people in the wilderness. This story is just jam packed with truth relevant to us today. We know looking back that that manna is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and the word of God. Jesus said he is the bread of heaven in John 6.

In this Old Testament story we see a picture of Jesus Christ, the provision of God from heaven for us. Who says Jesus is not in the Old Testament? They have no clue what they are talking about. The amazing thing I saw is that when the dew was gone, the manna is what was left. Dew is a picture of God’s doctrine. What does that mean? Doctrine is what the Bible teaches. You cannot find Jesus Christ in false doctrine. False doctrine coming from false teachers with false spirits from false Bibles… they can’t leave you with the manna that you desperately need for your impossible journey in the barren wilderness of this world.

Just think about that for a second. Christians today pride themselves on not being big on doctrine. Doctrine is not important. But that’s a load of rubbish. Doctrine is everything. God said in Deuteronomy 32:2 ” My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:”. Without the right doctrine, you don’t get the right Christ. Jesus warned about many false Christ’s remember. There was no manna before the dew. Just think about that. And you see so much false garbage teaching and ideas of who God is, and it’s not leading people to the truth, it’s leading them to a completely false representation of who God is and what God has said. It is kinda fitting that many mentions of worm in the Bible come from the book of Job, a book where supposed comforters and friends were unable to help Job because of their false idea of who God is and how they misrepresented God to him. If you can’t get your doctrine straight, that is, getting what you know about any topic from God’s word, you’re unable to be a true help to someone else.

The Bible says God proved them with the manna. And God will prove who and what you truly are based on the issue of manna. Deuteronomy 8:16 – ” Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;”. Many people are proved in life by the manna. They prove whether they’re truly saved, they prove whether or not their faith has a real basis and grounding in God’s word, they prove what’s really in their heart, their true attitude to God.

But what a wonderful provision the manna was. Did you know that God has provided you with food for the journey of life? An impossible journey requires miraculous food. Did you know that he’s given you not just food, but heavenly food? The Bible is that food. And that Bible furnishes you with something that is sufficient and new every day for you. Everytime I read the Bible God speaks to me afresh. It’s never tired and old. You need God today for today’s walk of life. Past victories are not enough. Salvation, forgiveness, the mercy and grace of God… it never gets old. The truth of God’s word, it never gets old, it never wears out. God faithfully provided that manna, and God will faithfully provide you with salvation and eternal life in accordance with his promise. He will sustain you on your journey if you are saved.

Manna was so called because the children of Israel did not know what it was. You see, they didn’t know what it was, but we know what it was looking back. So many people don’t know what it is when it comes to God’s word, the gospel, Jesus Christ, the way of salvation. The truth is kept from them, though it be presented to them, though there is enough for them also. You see, there is salvation to go around, that’s why we as Christians are meant to tell others the gospel. Many people don’t know what it is in many aspects of Christian life. They don’t even know God’s voice anymore through the page of scripture. They go looking for his voice and will elsewhere… in the world. It kinda reminds me of King Ahaziah, he went to enquire of Baalzebub rather than the Lord for whether he would recover from his fall or not. Only way you recover from Adam’s fall is through the gospel people.

May God help us to see Jesus Christ for who he truly is. May God help us to understand what life is all about. May God show us and reveal to us his word. We cannot discern it ourselves. They had no idea what it was, and you will have no idea who God is until he reveals himself to you. You cannot approach him, he must draw you first. Many people live their whole life in religion, and doing the deed, but without ever having the revelation, their eyes enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God and being born again. For many people, they’re never able to put it together in life. It cannot be put together in your own intellect and wisdom, it takes spiritual revelation. Jesus gave us that illumination when he said he is the bread of heaven. Oh, that manna is going to teach us about Jesus. Is God, the Bible, salvation a “what is it” to you? Your sin, your flesh, this world and Satan will prevent you from ever laying hold on eternal life, from ever knowing that THIS is the truth. We have the truth, just think about that, God’s word is the truth. It is the record of God to man.

Well, the children of Israel gathered some more and some less. Some Christians go deeper, and some get a little and say that’ll do me. And that’s fine, many of us have different callings and gifts and roles in life. Just focus on your lot first and your responsibility first. But we should want to launch out in the deep, because out in the deep is where the fish are and where your net down for a great draught of fishes. Are you satisfied with only a little in life?  Or do you want more? Do you want to go all the way with Jesus Christ? Do you want to make your life about serving him, about his business rather than your business. Many people only want to get out of hell, but not anything more. They’re not that interested in sacrificing their life to follow Jesus Christ. They’re not interested in putting him first. Is that you? Your manna is liable to turn into a stinking pile of worms before long.

So this is all a lovely picture in the Bible. They ate heavenly food. It was good for them, it sustained them, and it fulfilled them. Noone had any lack, there was enough to go around. And that’s all nice. But something terrible happened. They had a simple command from Moses, “let no man leave of it till the morning”. And some of them disobeyed God and they made a mistake that you may make in your life and will result in you falling out, wasting your life, or even going to hell. How could that wonderful, pure, perfect manna turn into stinking worms? The sad part is that for many people, all they’ve got is the stink and the worms.

The Bible says in Corinthians 6:2 that now is the accepted time, and today is the day of salvation. It wasn’t enough to just pick up the manna, you were meant to eat it. That manna was for that day. Your salvation and your command to obey God is for today. God would provide new manna the next day. Today’s manna is for today. The only time they used the manna the following day was when the sabbath day was the next day. SO they were commanded to gather twice as much and use it in their cooking and make their meals for the morrow on the day they gathered it. You know, you can use that manna in your life, God’s word should be part of everything you say, think and do. It should be assimilated into what you’re doing, not just be a bit of head knowledge that has no bearing on the rest of your life.

But it’s hard to think of an uglier sight than going to get your manna the following morning and it’s full of worms and stinks. What a repugnant and vile sight it was. How could something so good turn so unappetizing and evil? How could your salvation turn into hellfire? How could what you shoulda, coulda, and woulda done turn into regret, judgment, loss, waste and despair? Quite easily. Just disobey God. Just put off what today what God has commanded you to do. The biggest regret people will have in hell is that they rebelled against the light. They didn’t have to be there! You didn’t have to waste your life. The worm didn’t need to be feeding on your life. It’s going to be a big stink and an almighty stench to have refused God when you should have just obeyed him and trusted him with your life.

Here’s what the Bible is teaching us. Don’t put off to tomorrow what is your duty to do today. Many people put off obeying God, or serving God, or even getting saved. Today’s obedience will be gone tomorrow. I look back on my life and I smell the stink and see the worms. All those years where I disobeyed God and they’re all wasted. I can’t get them back. The Bible says to redeem the time, because if you spend that time on yourself and your pleasure, you’ll lose them. The ultimate loss you can experience is the loss of your own spirit and soul. What a stink to be made for fellowship with your Creator and to end up in that long home of Ecclesiastes 12 of separation from God, weeping, wailing and gnashing your teeth? See, that hand of God that is extended to you of salvation will turn into the hand that sentences you to the lake of fire. And that Bible which offered you salvation and gave you the ability to serve God, it’s going to be your biggest regret in your life that you did not heed it and obey it.

This is the very first time worm is mentioned in the Bible here in Exodus 16. Jesus spoke about worms in the New Testament. He said three times in Mark 9 “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Jesus was preaching about hell in this chapter. It’s a very sobering sermon. Jesus was saying  it’s better to cut your hand or foot off or pluck your eye out if it’s causing you to not be saved rather than go into hell fire perfect and complete. As a side note, that’s why all this prosperity gospel garbage is so stupid. Everyone is after healing and getting a year extended on their life or feeling a bit better, and that’s all well and good, but what’s the point of being “healed” if you just die and go to hell in a few years time? What will that little bit more ease and fun in this life really profit you? Exactly zero. We’ve got it all so terribly wrong.

What a terrifying sermon this was from Jesus Christ, he was speaking about hell, hell “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Did Jesus hate everyone? Was this hate speech? Did he need to be censored. You know, Jesus Christ sermons’ never would’ve met today’s “community guidelines”. He didn’t meet the scribes and Pharisees guidelines did he. Why don’t you just love the truth just a bit? Isn’t the truth better than a bed of lies? Isn’t reality better than medicating yourself with delusion?

Worms are never a good thing in the Bible. Job when speaking in Job 24 of the death of the wicked said “The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.” Yuck! Horrible! Ghastly! Will the worm feed sweetly on you? Whenever you see worms in the Bible you’re seeing a picture of judgment, destruction, loss. I don’t mind garden worms in the soil, but you know what they’re doing, they’re feeding away on material that’s died and decomposing. Worms generally make you go yuck and ugh, think about tape worms, intestinal worms, think about the worms that can be in fruit and vegetables eating away and ruining everything.

It’s not enough to know the truth, you must obey it. They were commanded by Moses, don’t leave it till the morning. And those who disobeyed and left it, it became a stinking pile of worms. Has all that manna, that grace of God, that ability to be saved, that book of life he gave you… has that turned into worms? Has it become a stink to you because you disobey God? Maybe the worms are in your life. Everything is being eaten away at and eroded. There have been worms in our society because of disobedience eating away at marriage, truth, righteousness, safety, peace, joy, happiness, hope, purpose fulfillment.

Maybe the worm is already sweetly feeding on your testimony, on your potential, on your witness, on your purpose, on your fulfillment, on your time, on your legacy, on your hopes and dreams and Christianity. That worm starts with disobedience. It’s already feeding on you. If you’re not saved, hell is your place, death is just you going where you belong. That worm is already feeding. It’s never going to die. Imagine your worm eating away forever on you. Never satisfied. It’s vile, ghastly and beastly but it’s the truth. The worm is at work in Christianity eating away from inside out. All because you’ve disregarded God’s word and thought you knew better.

In hell, that manna that was extended freely to you by the grace and goodness of God will turn to stink and worms. A life that rejects Jesus Christ stinks at the end of it. Just think about death, we are so protected from death, but when you die your body starts decaying, decomposing and corrupting. If your body was left it would be full of maggots and getting eaten out. Death is not funny. Death is a consequence of sin. And sin, which is disobeying God’s word, will breed worms in your life. It did with Adam and Eve, it did here in Exodus 16, and it will be the same for you. No you’re not any different, somehow we get the idea we are the exception to the rule. Everyone else can sin and get by with it, but I’ll be fine. Watch out for the worm.

A life where you knew better, when you should’ve done better, it’s not just a stink to God, but it’s going to be a stink to you. In hell, your own decisions will stink to you. In hell, that rejection of truth is going to be a stink to you. The worm that started because of your disobedience will feed sweetly on you. What a horrible picture, but it’s the truth. Imagine that great food, imagine heaven’s food disappearing on you and turning into stink and worms just because you couldn’t simply hearken unto the word of God. Remember, God doesn’t owe you salvation reader, it’s a function of his grace, you are not entitled to it. He could righteously send you to hell today. That stink and worms should’ve woken this hard hearted people up, hey this is serious business people. Moses was wroth with the people. He was angry! They turned blessed provision into a curse and reproach in their life.

The only thing that stops the stink and the worm is Jesus Christ. Do you want the worm to stop? Jesus’ body saw no corruption. You know that? It means his body didn’t start decomposing, it didn’t corrupt as everything that dies does. Job said in Job 7:5 – “My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.” Job is such a wonderful story, but he does picture the Lord Jesus Christ in this book, he did no wrong, and yet he was the one smitten of God and afflicted. Jesus took your sin, all that vile stink on himself so you could be forgiven, washed, and cleansed. You think Job wouldn’t have minded having his clean, pure skin back? He had boils all over him, sore boils, his flesh was corrupt. He ultimately pictures the suffering of Christ, not because of his wrong, but for the sins of the world. Job was in a terrible shape physically, when he said my flesh is clothed with worms, he wasn’t kidding. But Job said in Job 19:26 – “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”

You know, our body is vile, our sin is vile. But Job’s hope was in God. And although his life was a mess, you go to the end of the chapter and you consider the end of Job. It was a pretty nice looking end, he had the best looking daughters in the land. Your life will look pretty good at the end when you chose to get saved and obeyed God in your life. David said in Psalm 22, I am a worm. Recognizing that you are a hell deserving sinner is the prerequisite to salvation. If you have not seen the worm, and seen that you are a worm, you will not be saved. Do you see that you are a sinner? Do you see your rebellion, pride, lust, envy?

Jesus Christ became a worm for us. If you read Psalm 22, you’ll see a quote in there of what Jesus said on the cross. Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” This Psalm is about Jesus Christ’s suffering, written by David many, many, many years before. What a book this book is. David wrote that he was a worm, and yet the Psalm is about Jesus Christ becoming a worm for you and me, and he is who stops and solves that worm of sin and disobedience and hell in our life. He can solve your stinking mess. Believe on him and be saved today. You’re going to breed stinking worms disobeying God and playing religion. It’s not a joke, salvation and obeying God is not something to trifle with, stop gambling with your soul and spirit.

You know what’s interesting is that Jesus Christ revealed who that manna was and they still didn’t know who it was. In this sermon the Bible says they John 6:52 “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” All those hundreds of years later and they still didn’t get it. When will you get it? When will that manna no longer be manna, but the Lord Jesus Christ and his word? You’ll either have the bread of heaven and the bread of life or you’re going to have stinking worms, there is no third option, may God reveal the truth of his word to you today. Living heavenly bread or stinking worms? You decide.

John 6:48 – I am that bread of life.

John 6:49 – Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

John 6:50 – This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

John 6:51 – I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – :)

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I got to let you know that this was a NOW word! Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah!!!! I’m full on this spirit filled message and know that it’s manna to feed his sheep. God bless you and thank you so much for this word about the worms and manna. S. Gregory ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Shelia, glad this blog was a blessing to you. The word of God is the food of the born again child of God. It’s how we grow. God bless you as well 🙂


  2. I bless God for this Spirit filled and revelational Bible lesson based on the topic i’ve studied tim e and time without seeing it in this regards,God bless you for more insirations and i want to acnowlege by permission to preach the same truth to the people i pastored by way of evangelism.Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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