By Brooke Holt
“And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:2-3
At this point in the book of Exodus, the Israelites have seen the Lord work mightily through the 10 plagues, they have experienced deliverance from the Pharaoh and the bondage of Egypt; they have walked through the Red Sea and then then watched as that same sea washed away Pharaoh and all his armies. Miracle after miracle after miracle – God had made the way for them. Amazingly, they went from praising the Lord in awe and wonder for all these works to lamenting about their hungry bellies.
Faced with hunger, the Israelites easily forgot God’s miraculous works on their behalf. Instead of petitioning the Lord to provide food, they cried out against Moses and Aaron and accused God of bringing them to the wilderness to kill them of hunger. Why the drastic shift?
Until their departure, these Israelite people had received food from Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt. There, they had plenty of meat and bread to eat. In their memories, Egypt’s provision seemed good, secure, comfortable, and abundant. However, they seemed to have forgotten one major component of their time in Egypt - they were slaves. To receive that meat and bread, they had to fulfill backbreaking tasks. How quickly people can forget the pain of bondage and oppression and even think of their slavery as a time of abundance. The nation of Israel was being ruled by their appetites. The longing in their bellies led them to long for the bondage of slavery just to experience the satisfaction of being well-fed.
The Lord saw them and knew them. He understood their hunger, and he stood more than ready to provide all they needed. Why didn’t these Israelites call out to the One who split the Red Sea before their eyes and made for their safe passage across it? Though they had seen God work mightily, they did not comprehend his great love and care for them. They had to learn to ask so they could see God faithfully provide again and again.
On this journey to the Promised Land, the Lord would long for his people to entrust their appetites to him! He offered abundant goodness and provision. Like the Israelites, we are walking the journey of life with the Lord, and he invites us to daily entrust ourselves to him for love, care, and provision. Our earthly appetites can lead us to a godly dependence upon our heavenly Father. Uncontrolled, these earthly appetites can lead right into bondage – an ungodly dependence on food, alcohol, shopping, social media, work, exercise, etc.
Bring the fullness of your needs and desires to the Lord today. Ask him for what you need and want, then trust him to provide in his way and time. He sees you. He knows you. He loves you, and he is a faithful heavenly Father!
What do you do in times of need? Have you learned to cry out to your heavenly Father, who not only can meet your needs, but who also delights in caring for you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Come explore the grand story of God as the one who knows and loves his people. In one of the greatest love stories ever told, The Book of Exodus reveals God as Yahweh, the Great “I AM.” He is the transcendent, all-powerful creator of all things who defeated the greatest powers of the earth. This same God would have his people know and love him in an intimate and personal way. The Great “I AM” – A Study of the Book of Exodus is a 9-week study consisting of a small group study guide combined with weekly video teachings. Come and meet The Great “I AM”.
Comments will be approved before showing up.