Thought- We are all a little like the Israelites; Slow to learn and quick to complain.
Scripture- “That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.” Exodus 14:30-31
“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s 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.” -Exodus 16:2-3
Insight: I heard Pastor Rick Warren say something on the radio the other day that I had never heard before. He said the entire amount of land the Israelites had to navigate in the wilderness in order to reach the Promised Land could be easily navigated in just a few week’s time, yet it took them 40 years. Why in the world did it take them 40 years? The answer was that they kept forgetting and failing the lessons God was teaching them which could be best summed up in a single word: TRUST! God had literally done miracle after miracle for them in order to free them from the hand of slavery under Pharaoh and above in Exodus 14 had wiped out the entire Egyptian army in the miracle of the parting and then closing of the Red Sea, yet by Exodus 16 those same people who had been miraculously rescued and saved were complaining and whining about their situation. God had a lot to teach them about trust and obedience and gratitude, and they were very slow learners. But are we really any different?
I struggle with many lessons of the same ilk and I can see a lot of myself in the Israelites struggle in the wilderness. How quickly after God has done something miraculous in our life, do we move onto the next thing on our wish list, and then we grow impatient and exasperated with God when He doesn’t seem to move fast enough for our liking. But God will never be rushed into compromising His plan and He will retest us and retest us until we get the lesson right. I have seen this is His way in little lessons and big lessons. It all matters to God, and He needs to know He can trust us to accomplish His will for our lives. I see this in my dealing with finances, in attitudes of my heart, in forgiveness and compassion and mercy. He wants us as His children to exemplify the same quality traits He has bestowed on us through Christ Jesus. Until we learn the lessons, He will not let us move on to the next classroom. Whether it takes 40 years, or 40 days, we will get taught the lesson. God must always be looking down and thinking “why do they make it so hard on themselves? My way is so much easier in the long run.” Be we, much like the Israelites, like to bumble, stumble and complain despite all the mighty things God has done for us.
Prayer: Father God, forgive us for our stubbornness and pride and help us to quickly respond to the lessons you are trying to teach us, for it is for our own good. We pray for wisdom in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!