If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt”, they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness, to starve us to death.” Exodus 16:3
What are you hungry for?
God calls this time of the Israelite history, the day of rebellion. The Israelite people had been slaves of Egypt for generations, and God had finally set them free. The Lord fought for them sending plagues to the Egyptian land, H opened the Red Sea from them to cross over to another land and even drowned Pharaoh and his army in those waters. In the wilderness, as they were to make their way to the Promised land, they began to grow hungry. If any of you can relate, hunger causes us to be on edge. It can cause frustration, bitterness, and an ungrateful heart.
What are you hungry for? I’m hungry for a few things: a place of employment where I can walk in my purpose and calling, a romantic relationship, sex, and to get my fitness where it was 6 months ago. I know people who are hungry for these things, some are hungry to see their marriage restored, for their family to share a happy home, for an apartment or house to live, a change of scenery like traveling out of the country, for financial breakthroughs, for emotional or physical healing, others for the gifts of the spirit, maybe to obtain a VISA or residency documents, or debt forgiveness- there is true hunger in the world. I see it on the train, people are overworked, tired and hurting. Sometimes it seems as if life is a waste of time, since all we do here is suffer anyhow: work and suffer, sacrifice and be forgotten, invest and lose.
When we were children, we had dreams. We dreamt of being teachers, artists, parents, doctors, or engineers. But then we got caught up in the wilderness of life. Before we know it, we are in our mid twenties and have not reached half the goals we had in mind. This is pretty disappointing, and frustrating. This is how the Israelite were. They were frustrated, God seemed to have forgotten about them in the desert. Yes, they were no longer slaves- but they were hungry. God was offended, but He still provided for their needs. He gave them Manna (wafers, or bread) from heaven and when they complained even more when they became tried of the Manna, God gave them quail (bird meat, maybe it tasted like chicken lol). The Lord told them at some point to take enough for the day, not to save any. But some of the people disobeyed. In another occasion God told them to take the day off (Sabbath), because He not send them Manna (they were supposed t have some stored up in anticipation this time around)…. but guess what? Some of them disobeyed there too.
Frustration, complaining, murmuring, bitterness, desperation, anger, hastiness, depression; these are all matters of the heart, which we must plead God to heal us from. These things cause rebellion, and disobedience. The Israelites were disobedient, because they did not trust God would provide for the next day: so they hoarded some of the Manna (and when they woke up the next day it was spoiled). They came out on the Sabbath because they did not believe in resting, they did not believe God at His word. Be careful to rest in God’s word about your life, be careful to trust God daily– and not keep things for when you will need them. Resting in God means believing He will, doing your best and allowing God to do the rest. He provides to our needs on a daily basis, we can rest today knowing God has taken care of tomorrow already. God has daily instructions for us, let’s stay clear of believing God to do things in the same way He has in the past.
Lord God of creation, forgive us when we fail at believing you. Forgive us when we act in our wisdom, believing that what you give us is not enough. May you continue to cultivate a heart that is trusting in you, as you become our place of refuge and our place of provision. May you remove any blindfolds from our eyes which do not allow us to see your power and love. May we walk in your love knowing that you provide our every need and that you will grant us the desires of our hearts, when the time is right. In Jesus name, Amen.