Hidden Manna and White Stone

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
A. The church had departed from her first love in the state contemplated in the message to Ephesus (ch. 2). God had used the persecution, with which Satan had tried to drive her out of the world, as that which brightened her up for the Lord. This is Smyrna. Satan had not succeeded thus as a “roaring lion,” and he now tries seduction, as a “serpent,” and had drawn her into the world. This is what we find in the message to Pergamos. “I know... where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.” Still there were faithful ones. Antipas, a faithful martyr, might be slain amongst them for His name. (Striking meaning, the name Antipas, that is “against all,” when all were slipping away into the world.) Now we find the promise to the overcomer in such a state of things — the “Hidden manna,” and the “White stone.” The manna was, in figure, Christ humbled here: there was no place on earth that He could take: doing so would but own the world in its state of departure from God. He was the lowliest on earth. Those who were standing firm in this lowly path, where the church should have trodden in His footsteps, would be fed thus with Him, as the humbled, rejected One, which the church was now ceasing to be. It was the “Hidden manna” too. This is an allusion to the golden pot of manna which was treasured up in the ark for a remembrance (Ex. 16). The humiliation of that Blessed One God never forgets. It was no mere passing savor of Him, as merely a means to an end, in accomplishing His great work. But that which abides in God’s memory and heart forever! Blessed to be fed on such food — “God’s treasured store.”
The “White stone” was, according to an ancient custom, a mark of approval — as a black stone was of disapproval — it is the approval of Christ to those who were satisfied with this lowly path. In the stone a new name written, known only to him who received it. There are common joys of God’s saints now: there will be common joys in heaven. But there are secret joys now between the heart and Christ, known to him who is recipient of them alone. There will be such in heaven.