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Summary: Christians should be positive and optimistic people if they want to witness to unbelievers for no one likes a negative, pessimistic person. The Hebrews on their Exodus journey should have known better than to grumble against God and Moses after all the bl

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Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Exodus 16: verses 1 – 8 but especially verses 2 and 8

In the light of these words, it looks as if the Lord is suggesting an 11th commandment: ‘Thou shalt not grumble’.

Psalm 145, ends with these words in verse 21:

'My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord'; why?

because of what it says in verses 10 and 11:

'All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you'

and: 'They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might';

and with what result, according to verse 12:

'so that all men may know of your mighty acts

and the glorious splendour of your kingdom'.

...........................................................................................................................

Most people are attracted to positive, optimistic people,

and shun negative, pessimistic people,

so when Christians grumble, they put people off the Lord and His church,

but when they praise Him, they make the Lord and His church attractive,

and invite people think about what God and His love and grace

could do for them too.

...........................................................................................................................

A story is told about a certain man who attended his company’s Christmas party

with the intention of having a good time.

During the course of the evening he drank far too much alcohol.

He woke next morning feeling awful, with a pounding headache.

He was sick all day, and recalled in the sober light of day

what an absolute fool he made of himself the evening before.

He promised himself that if he recovered from this hangover

he would never drink again.

Fast forward a year.

This same man again attends the company’s Christmas party.

He again drinks too much, and his co-workers again have the opportunity

to see him making a fool and a nuisance of himself.

And the next morning, guess what,

he woke up feeling rotten and promising to amend his life.

...........................................................................................................................

The term for the all too familiar phenomenon just described is ‘selective amnesia’.

‘Selective amnesia’ is the incomplete recall of past experiences

that remembers good things, but conveniently forgets the unpleasant.

According to our reading this morning,

if ever there was a people who suffered from a corporate ‘selective amnesia’

it was the nation of Israel.

The first few verses of Exodus 16 provide the necessary context

for the rest of what happens in the chapter,

and reveals the first of what will be many, many other examples of the people of Israel suffering from ‘selective amnesia’.

The Hebrews journeyed from Elim, and came to the Wilderness of Sin,

on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt.

Then the whole congregation complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

And said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full!


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