Exodus 15: 22 – 16: 10
“He (God) said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’”
Exodus 15: 26
As I was praying on what to share today I felt compelled to return to the Exodus account. God’s people had been freed by His power in an awe inspiring way; not an event that would be easily forgotten (the parting of the Red Sea). We now see them entering the Desert of Shur where they travel for three days without finding water; very soon the people were grumbling against Moses. They found water but it was bitter. The Lord miraculously made it sweet and led them on to a place of beauty (15: 27). Again, though, problems arose with a lack of food; grumbling reoccurred this time with a distorted memory of times in Egypt. God in His grace again made provision with manna in the morning and Quail in the evening.
The People’s complaints were understandable, human and illustrate how quickly we can turn from confidence and joy to fear and complaint as circumstances change. Moses showed God’s people and shows us that our grumbling, no matter its focus, is essentially grumbling against God (16: 8); it shows our lack of trust in Him. It is a similar principle that shows no matter what our sin, that sin is effectively against God (Psalm 51: 4). God though is so gracious and compassionate that He did not deal with His People as He could have done, even should have done; He is equally loving towards us. Instead of anger there is grace and provision. Today He provides us with the Bread of Life in Christ who meets our needs and is the means of God's forgiveness and reconciliation.
God called on His people to listen carefully to Him and to look at what they feared, it was then that they saw His glory (15: 26; 16: 10). As we enter a time of ‘wilderness’ may we listen carefully to the Lord, seek His provision and put our trust in Him. May we not look backwards at what once was, with rose coloured spectacles, instead may we look forward focusing on what lies ahead so that we too can see the glory of the Lord. Walking in His ways enables us to receive His healing.
To Ponder: In our current situation are we looking backwards at what we miss? What is it we miss and long for? If we listen carefully to God what do we hear; what provision can we see in Christ, what healing?
Prayer: Dear Lord, as we walk in today’s wilderness give us ears to hear your guidance, eyes to see your provision, trust to follow in your ways and faith to see your glory. Encourage us by your love and deal not with us as you ought, but with your grace in our Saviour, Jesus Christ your Son and our Lord. Amen
Praise: Be Thou my Vision
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIMhshpf0Y4
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.