I was reading this morning in Exodus, preparing for Sunday School. I came across a verse that really knocked me up the side of the head. It’s in the middle of the story about Moses leading the people of Israel out of slavery. The people have seen amazing things – miraculous things – things that rescued them from their captors. They are now free, but a people without a country, traveling to an unknown land that God has told them will be theirs.
Now you would think that they would believe this God. They have watched him do exactly what He said He would do. All along the way, God told Moses what to expect from Pharoah, and it was exactly like God said it would be. Each time God said something would happen, it did. They even left Egypt with all kinds of gold and treasures, even though they had been slaves, just like God said.
It’s going to take awhile to get where they are going, especially with a million people on foot with their children and animals along for the journey. And it’s going to take more miracles to provide for their needs.
They’ve been on the road a couple of months when this passage in Exodus 16 occurs. The people are grumbling against Moses. “If only we had died by the Lords’ hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” (vs. 3). Moses responds to them with, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” (vs. 8). That’s the part that struck me. “You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
I have watched God do miraculous things in my lifetime. I’m even in the process of writing a book about some of those things. So why in the world would I grumble about anything? And do I realize that when I do, I’m not grumbling against people or circumstances, but against the God that is in control?
Ok, so maybe providing enough food for a million people is no small matter, but in comparison to the miracle of freeing them from slavery, it certainly is. Maybe the things that are bothering me in my world today are big to me, but in comparison to where I’ve seen God work in the past? No way.
Today I am going to stop and remember – remember what He has done, so I know that He will keep His promises for the future.