I’m reading through Exodus right now, and while it’s a story I’ve heard many times, I was struck again at the lack of faith of the Israelites. And how far too often, I am no different.
In Exodus 14, thousands of men, women, and children stood at the edge of the Red Sea. Their escape from a life of slavery in Egypt had already been marked by miracle after miracle—ten plagues of pestilence and death—until the Egyptians had begged them to leave.
Now, the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them by day, and a pillar of fire to give them light at night. But when the Egyptian army decided to pursue them, the Israelites grew terrified. Moses told them not to be afraid. He stretched his hand out over the sea like the Lord told him. All night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned a section of the Red Sea into dry land by dividing the water. The Israelites went through the sea with a wall of water on both sides of them.
It had to have been a spectacular event. Can you imagine walking across the Red Sea on dry land, towers of water on either side as you walk to safety?
But three days later they seemed to have forgotten this great display of power. They left the sea and traveled through the desert, but couldn’t find water. They started to groan and mumble.
Hmm. . .I have to ask myself a question. Would I have been any different? Am I any different today? Things go wrong. I worry. I want a miracle that proves to me (once again) that God is really there. A sign. . .anything.
Would I really have been the one who stood up and told the crowds to stop complaining and worrying? "If God could part the Red Sea, surely he can find us a large stash of fresh water?"
Would I have said that? Or would I be the one grumbling right along side them?
Sadly, I’m afraid I would have been the later.
How many times has God shown his power in my circumstances, then I go on to doubt and fear I forget and wonder where he is.
As the Israelites complained about the lack of good water, again God showed them He was God. He turned the bitter water they found in Marah to drinkable water. But they complained again. Next it was food they craved. They wanted the food they’d had in Egypt. Even thought they’d just left a life of slavery, at least they had all the food they could eat they reasoned.
They had forgotten.
Forgotten where they had come from.
Forgotten God’s power.
Forgotten where they were going.
God provided food for them in the form of manna. He gave them exactly what they needed. No more.
No less. Which is another point that hits home to me. I like my pantry filled, my bank account with enough for the next few weeks (or longer), but they were to gather what they needed for the day and trust that he would provide for tomorrow.
That's way Jesus reminded us in Matthew 6:34 to stop worrying about tomorrow. "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's worries are enough for today."
Tough sometimes, isn't it?
Which is probably why this wasn’t the end of the Israelites grumbling. And sadly, I know I will continue to have times when I will struggle. But I can’t put all my trust in my job, my abilities, my material possessions, or my bank account.
It's a daily decision to simply trust in Him.
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I trust; I will not be afraid.” Psalm 56: 3-4
“Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68
Be blessed today,
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