Devotional: June 24, 2021
Updated: Jun 25
1-3 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt, the whole company of Israel moved on from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai. The whole company of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron there in the wilderness. The Israelites said, “Why didn’t God let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat? You’ve brought us out into this wilderness to starve us to death, the whole company of Israel!”
4-5 God said to Moses, “I’m going to rain bread down from the skies for you. The people will go out and gather each day’s ration. I’m going to test them to see if they’ll live according to my Teaching or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have gathered, it will turn out to be twice as much as their daily ration.”
6-7 Moses and Aaron told the People of Israel, “This evening you will know that it is God who brought you out of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the Glory of God. Yes, he’s listened to your complaints against him. You haven’t been complaining against us, you know, but against God.”
8 Moses said, “Since it will be God who gives you meat for your meal in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, it’s God who will have listened to your complaints against him. Who are we in all this? You haven’t been complaining to us—you’ve been complaining to God!”
Exodus 16: 1-8 The Message
The story of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is filled with drama-not only before the Israelites leave Egypt, but also during their forty-year sojourn in the desert. Although free from the yoke of Pharaoh, the Israelites are ungrateful. They are complaining to Moses, saying, “Look, we know we are going to die. Why couldn’t we at least die in Egypt, where we would have a few material comforts in the process?” How quickly they forgot the brutal slavery conditions Pharoah had imposed upon them.
Becoming a leader takes time, patience and learning, here are a few from this passage:
-Sometimes, you can lead people in the right way, but they will not recognize it, at least not at the time.
-When people complain about your leadership, sometimes their true complaint is actually with God, not you.
-The best leaders go to the Lord for guidance when they are facing difficult situations. They recognize their need for divine intervention.
-Times of crisis are often hard for leaders, but wise leadership is absolutely crucial to surviving any catastrophe or emergency.
-God provides surprising miracles for leaders, and the people they lead.
As we continue reading, we learn the rest of the story… While it begins with the grumbling of God’s people, it ends with the glorious presence of God. He provides meat every night, and bread (manna) every morning to His people. There is a startling contrast between the people grumbling, with their negativity and doom-and-gloom complaints, and the Lord’s amazing miracle. God provided for His people, even though they were unwilling to honor and bless Him, much less pray. God not only provided for their physical needs, but their spiritual needs. This is what we call grace.
This is a story about God’s grace. Even when the people of Israel were terrible and undeserving, God was gracious. Today, nothing has changed. God is full of grace, love and forgiveness towards us, even when we feel like we do not deserve it. This is the good news we celebrate daily, and especially every Sunday, when we worship and praise the Lord together. God delivers us from sin, not because we earned such deliverance, but because we needed it. Hallelujah! and Amen.
God of salvation,
How often do I sound like the grumbling Israelites wandering around in the wilderness? Too often! Forgive me for my complaints, and for neglecting to give You thanks for the times You have rescued me, and provided for me, especially in desperate circumstances. Help me to see Your miracles in our world, in my community, and in my life. I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.