We can look to the Israelites and learn so much about ourselves. There is a vast wealth of knowledge to be learned in their lives as slaves in Egypt, to their journey to the promise land. Years would pass in between these two passages of time. It was no walk in the park. In fact they parked forty years in the desert.
This morning my study opens in Exodus chapter 16. The Hebrew children had been out of bondage for only a month. A month and they were already complaining. Oh, I can hear them now. How about you? Sounds pretty much like me on a bad day when things aren't going my way and I am in no mood to wait for a good day. We tend to allow our circumstances to dictate our faith, right? If all is going well for us we tend to worship with all we have in us, but when things are not going as planned we look to God and ask, "Hey, where are You now?" We are not a patient people. We are downright demanding of all good things to shine down upon us at all times. After all we deserve it, right? Oh, mercy, have we not learned anything? Praise Jesus for His sweet grace and renewed mercy.
So, its been a month. Now they are ready once again to slam down on Moses. He seems to get the blame for everything that's happening or not happening at the moment. Makes you feel for him, doesn't it? He is trying to hard to lead these ungrateful people into a land of promise. A land he will never himself enter.
They accuse Moses and Aaron of bringing them out of Egypt to die in the desert. Okay, living in Missouri I can totally relate to their agitation LOL. It is already so hot here and I am pleading for winter to arrive. Yep, we haven't learned a great deal. But at least we can relate and through relating to these people who lived so many years before us we can learn to walk with integrity, grace, and faith, through this journey on this planet that is a long way from home.
How quickly these people yet again forget the grace of God. How quickly once things grow a little difficult they forget all that God has provided thus far. One step forward and two steps back. This is our faith walk. Some days we are moving forward in faith and on others we are learning that even in our lack of faith God is forever present.
They are throwing a fit in the way of Moses. He is seeing all the people around him grow angrier by the minute and he cries out to God. Moses knew God's presence. He knew he wasn't alone. That's something huge for us to learn in our faith journey.
God shows Himself once again. For five days each week He delivered daily portions for each person. On the sixth day He gave each a double portion. On the seventh day there was nothing, but that double portion was given to them for that next day. This is the day they would celebrate as the Sabbath Day.
What they needed to through the wilderness was ONLY available through God. A lesson we can learn today as the wilderness is a very real place. Usually the place we learn who we are as people and where our faith grows the most.
These people had seen the work of the Lord. They had been under the Word. Now they would see the wonder of God. The revelation of the glory of God in the cloud was to instill confidence and compel faithfulness in His people. Its easy for us to judge these people for their continued lack of faith, but we do the exact same today.
God brings a miracle of quail to His people. Quail would blanket the ground as a blessing to the people. They would give praise for this blessing, but would quickly grow angry again. Oh, the complaints our God must hear from His children. I know how crabby I become when I am hungry. My little self becomes a giant bear ready to roar. My growl can grow pretty ugly. What about you?
They complain yet again and what does God do? He gives grace to the people He loves so much. I can hear Him ponder, "When will My people get it? When will they get just how great My love is for them?".
God brings the of manna. These little wonders of wafers would be their sustenance for the next forty years! Until the next generation this would sustain them until the promise land.
Okay, this is amazing! One days food supply provided enough for more than two million people for forty years!! God's provisions are sweet for those who are willing to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Manna was like white coriander seed and tasted of honey. Each morning the dew would cover the ground. As the dew would rise blanketed on the ground were the sweet wafers of manna. Such a beautiful sight this must have been. God continued to provide as He provides for us today. Our problem is that we don't look to the Lord for our provisions. We complain and fuss. We search all the wrong places for something to fill us when we should be looking to the Lord, seeking Him, being ready to taste and see all He has for us.
Lord, may I be diligent daily in seeking You, trusting in You, and may my life be a living and lasting testimony to You, Lord, and to those who see my life lived out before them.
The Israelites are waiting for more. They are waiting for the promise land. The sad part is that they are not living for each day. They have forgotten the here and now. We do the same. Living not only for tomorrow, for the weekend, for vacation to start, for the next great thing to happen to us. We often say, "I will be happy when...."
We miss out on so much waiting for something better to happen. We wait for peace to come. We wait for our circumstances to change before we can be happy. But what has happened to that wasted time passed? We can't get those days back. They are gone forever. Oh, the blessings I must have missed out on because I wasn't waiting in expectation for all the Lord had to show me of Himself. We are too focused on busy and tomorrow and what's next for us. So many things of this world rob our attention of the beauty moments only created by God.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord." Psalm 34:8
"Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'" Hebrews 3:7-11
The Israelites were people just as we are today. We weren't so different. A different time and place, but the same hearts of wanting more and not being able to find contentment. They lacked trusting the Lord when things grew difficult. They praised Him when all was grand. See, the thing about our God is that He knows us. He understands our hearts and where His love flows for His children there is grace.
Take heart today, friends. Don't stop looking for God to do something spectacular in your life today. Look in anticipation for the Lord today. Allow your faith to grow in trust and hope as you patiently wait upon Him to move. May He have favor upon you today as you look not only toward tomorrow, but as you make the choice to live today.