Summary: I like Moses response to people who grumble. "Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord." That’s calling it like it is! Grumble for be grateful but grumbling is not one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit!
Exodus 16 - New and Fresh Every Morning!
I don’t think I have ever been tested in my trust concerning food. I have always had enough. I have never been without. Julie was away recently in Sydney for a brief time and the food ran out, but all I had to do was to go to the shop and buy some more. I don’t grumble about having no food. Sometimes I may grumble about having to go to the shop! I know nothing of going without, and so in one sense it is difficult for me or the average Australian to associate with this passage in terms of going hungry. Would I grumble like they did? I would like to think that I would trust God, but I know that there are times when sadly, I complain about my circumstances.
Exodus 16 speaks of how Israel grumbled against the Lord because they had no food. This was a test and once again they failed. The Lord, in His grace, provided manna to eat each day. They would gather enough for just one day at a time and double on the Sabbath day - Saturday. God would send quail in the evening and manna in the morning.
I would like to think like Moses and trust God, but I know that I am also capable of thinking like the crowd, the average and like my culture. I must admit, as a leader, I like Moses response to the grumbling of the people. "Why do you come and grumble to us? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord." That’s calling it like it is! My grumbling is always against the Lord, because it shows a lack of trust in His provision. Grumbling doesn’t belong in my life. It certainly is not one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Negativity characterized Israel as a whole and it kept them enslaved to their past and limited by the smallness of their thinking. They were self-centred and ungracious. Yet God continues to be gracious in His provision for me and little by little I learn to trust Him more.
Recently Julie expressed her desire to go on our Church missions trip to Cambodia. She was excited because we expected that the Government’s stimulus package of $900.00 for each person would cover the cost. All we had to do was put in our tax returns. My $900.00 came as expected, so we had more than half of the amount we needed, and we waited for Julie’s to come to cover the rest. We still needed the other $900.00 to cover the cost of a plane fare and other expenses. In faith, Julie prepared for the trip. She booked and paid for her fare. She received various shots from her doctor for Hepatitis and various other tropical diseases, which mounted up the bill.
Although we had sent our tax returns in, we discovered that Julie had not earned enough in her small home based business to warrant receiving the stimulus package. Not daunted, though disappointed, Julie prayed for the money to be provided. God is an amazing God! We recently received a gift from someone for $900.00 in the post in answer to Julie’s prayer. We have more than enough for her to go on the missions trip and our faith in our gracious God has once again increased.
God graciously provided manna in the wilderness for a complaining people. If I were God I would probably give them nothing until they repented, but God in His grace seeks to increase their faith as they witness His great faithfulness.