In yesterday’s scripture reading, the Lord saved the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, parted the waters, provided them with food from the heavens for 40 years, yet they still grumble and groan and push the boundaries. Today is all about tests. The Lord tested His people as to their faithfulness and obedience, and quite honestly at this point and after all He had done in their lives, I hope I would pass every test.
The Lord said to Moses, “I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” (16:4, NIV)
The Israelites were completely provided for and blessings were, literally, raining down on them day after day, yet they did not follow the simple instructions about collecting the manna each day.
**As an aside, I never knew before today’s reading that the word “manna” means What is it? but I got a kick out of that. So, next time my husband fixes some extraordinary meal that fills me, is delicious (the manna was like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey–YUM), but I still can’t put my finger on the ingredients, I think I’ll call it manna and see if I get a reaction.
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. (16:19-20, NIV)
“Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.”
So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded and it did not stink or get maggots in it.
Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you (in the Hebrew “you” is plural, indicating that He was speaking the the entire population of Israel, not just to Moses) refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?” (16:27-28, NIV)
The entire Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” (17:1-2, NIV)
Do we all act that way? Is this just human nature? I know I test God and test His patience with me! I don’t ever test Him in ways that I am knowingly testing Him, but I do grumble and quarrel. He provides me and my family with shelter and warmth, but I sometimes grumble about it’s size, or something that needs to be fixed, or it’s location. He provides me and my family with food and we have never known hunger, but I grumble at the cost of the food or if it’s prepared in a way that I don’t think is tasty. I grumble that I have nothing to wear, even though the Lord has blessed me with a closet full of clothes to cover every season and every need.
The Israelites tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (17:7, NIV)
Friends, He answers: I AM!
He is with us and He is leading us away from the slavery and sins of our past on to a better life with Him. Like yesterday, all we must do is be still. Be still in time of prayer. Be still in Bible study time. Be still and know and believe and trust and build faith that He is our Lord, Creator, Provider, and Savior. Let’s band together and work within ourselves to quit testing Him with our direct grumbling and quarrels, and especially with our direct challenges. He is with us, let’s be still and listen to what the Word of God has to say to each of us.
Make it a great day,
Day 36 reading: Exodus, chapters 19-21