If you read through the book of Exodus, it didn’t take long to realize that the Israelites complained. Continuously.
Back in Egypt they had pots of meat and all the food they could eat. (Of course, they seemed to forget that they were also slaves being worked to death.) Now they didn’t have meat, enough variety, nor was there enough to drink. Their feet were tired, their brows were sweaty, and they wanted out.
All of this complaining came
- after the ten dramatic plagues against Egypt.
- after God had orchestrated for the Egyptians to beg them to leave.
- after God’s hand parted the Red Sea so they could escape from the Egyptians.
Through every episode, God showed His amazing power again and again.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say what I would have done.
- I wouldn’t have ever complained about being thirsty or hungry for meat.
- I wouldn’t have ever begged to go back to Egypt and a life of slavery.
- I would have been the one who stood up with Joshua and Caleb and said, “Yes, we can beat all these scary giants living in the land we’ve been promised because God is with us!”
I find it interesting that God allowed the Israelites to get thirsty. He allowed them to crave meat, and sent them into a land filled with huge bounty, but also fierce enemies.
I think He wanted them to feel their needs, yet still trust in God. And I also don’t think that it was the fact that they were thirsty that made Him angry, or even the fact that they went to Moses with their needs.
The problem was that they didn’t trust God to provide
They didn’t believe that the heart of God was full of love for them. Nor did they didn’t believe in His power and greatness and His seriousness about obedience. They didn’t look back and see all the times that He had rescued them. Instead they couldn’t look past the problems in front of them.
How many times do I do the very same thing?
I worry, fret, and complain, doing things my way instead of turning to Him? The world we live in is broken. There are people hurting everywhere from unemployment, hunger, loneliness, broken homes and marriages . . . We all know that the list could go on and on. The heart of God wants us to turn completely to Him in every circumstance and trust in His power and leading.
Here’s what Jesus said in the book of Matthew 6:33.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God calls us out of this world to a relationship with Him. He calls us to live radically for Him. To trust Him no matter what.