This week, I've been troubled by my own humanity. I'm like the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. One week God performs 10 miracles to get them out of Egypt and literally, the next week, those people are standing in front of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army fast approaching behind them. What is their response? They grumbled to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?" Ex 14:11 (That, my friends, is biblical sarcasm.) The Lord parts the sea so they could walk through on dry ground. No mud on their sandals.
Three days later, they are in the Desert of Shur and not finding water. The water they do find is bitter. What is their response? They grumbled. (Ex 15:24) God sweetens the water for them in verse 25. He provides an oasis in the wilderness with twelve springs (one for each tribe, perhaps?) and 70 date palm trees.
Couple weeks later they are wandering in the Desert of Sin with no food. Their response? (Say it with me...) They grumbled. The Lord provided manna every day. Ex 16:4 By the way, have you ever picked up on the verses in Exodus 16 that say the taste of manna was like wafers with honey (vs 31) and in Numbers 11:8 where it says "its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil." Author Priscilla Shirer writes "it may have looked somewhat like porridge, but it actually tasted more like Krispy Kreme donuts." Forty years of donuts and their clothes never wore out.
The Lord wanted to test them and see whether they would follow his instructions. Would they obey Him no matter how impossible it looked? He led them to the wilderness, just as He allows a wilderness or two in our journeys today. Our job is to yield to the wilderness and learn that He alone is our portion (Ps 119:57). He is faithful and good and kind to those He loves. If the children of Israel had been purposeful about remembering what God had done for them in the past, perhaps they wouldn't have wandered for forty years. Do you remember what God did for you in the past? How about just last week? I want to start a journal specifically for writing down what God has done for me so that I can remember. I'd encourage you to do something similar, maybe a word file on your computer. Then, when we walk into a wilderness, we can grab that journal, remember His faithfulness to us and lean on Him instead of grumbling.
So these are my verses: Psalm 77:11-12 from the NIV. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
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