Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trust and Obey

God supplies daily bread but he requires daily obedience.

Exodus 16:1-4 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.

2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. 3 "If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt," they moaned. "There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death."

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.

Exodus 16:19-20 Then Moses told them, "Do not keep any of it until morning." 20 But some of them didn't listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.

Exodus 16:26-28 You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day." 27 Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. 28 The LORD asked Moses, "How long will these people refuse to obey My commands and instructions?

Long road trips can be very difficult, if can be made worse depending on who is in the car with you and what their attitude is like. We all know that if it is too hot or too cold or if somebody is too hungry or too anything else then it can get really challenging.

The whole nation begins to complain to Moses about the lack of food on this journey they haven't passed a Popeye's Chicken or even a 7-11 store, they are thinking about all the good food that was available to them back in Egypt. What?!?

I have read the Bible story of the Israelite's living in Egypt and I don't recall these people having it very good back there. It hasn't been good for hundreds of years but this road trip is turning ugly real quick because the supplies that they brought with them from Egypt are running low.

It was a real problem, they were hungry and they were not sleeping well on this extended camping trip, but an even greater problem is their selective memory. They longed for the good old days but the good old days didn't really exist.

It is very strange how fast we can change what we long for. Back in Egypt in the middle of their suffering they longed to be freed, the Lord heard their cries and miraculously provided, now they are in the desert and they long for what they think they used to have.

Instead of focusing on the time towards the end of their stay in Egypt when they watched the miraculous plagues, instead of focusing on the miracle of the first Passover and instead of focusing in on their incredible exit from Egypt, they chose to complain and make accusations.
Exodus 16:6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "By evening you will realize it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
God's people are hard headed, after all that they have seen God do in the lives they still need something to help them remember how good he is, even today we are quick to doubt God’s love and too quick to complain of His dealings with us.

The Lord provides for their physical need but he also provides them with a spiritual lesson that they need to grasp. The Lord gives them daily bread, similar to the portion that we are told to pray for in the Lord's model prayer, instead of giving them a stock pile of food that would last a long time. God gives his people a daily physical miracle as a reminder of a spiritual lesson that he is in control and he is the one that sustains them.

All that was required of them was some simple obedience to some simple rules, but just like all of us, we are all tempted to take care of ourselves and provide for our own well being and security by bending the rules that God has given us.

In our desert experiences we need to remember the example that Jesus gave us. When he was in the desert Satan planted seeds of discontent but Jesus didn't water the seeds, he let those seeds get burned up in the desert sand. Jesus desire to please his father was much greater than his desire for his physical situation to be changed.

We all have desires for more and we all are wired to take care of our security and plan ahead for tomorrow. This desire can easily lead us to hoard up against tomorrows circumstances but God, who has provided, wants us to continually trust that he will continue to provide.

Forgive me Lord for all the times that I have tried to provide for myself instead of relying on you. I should never compromise on obedience in order to take care of things myself.