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Exodus 16:1-36

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.” -Exodus 16:2

Today’s reading tells us about the start of the wilderness journey of the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. We notice here the requirement of sufficient food after almost six weeks of journey from Egypt (Vs.1). Any deficiency in food supply was not recorded before. One could conclude that their store of grain might have nearly exhausted. Israelites knew very well that there is no means of any procurement in the desert for their sustenance. Seeing the grave situation before them, they made loud complaints against their leaders Moses and Aaron.

Here we see the ungrateful attitude of the congregation who experienced the mighty power of God that was at work for them. They were miraculously protected from every plague that hit the land of Egypt, even when God took the lives of every first born from the Egyptian families. They traveled through the miraculous passage opened before them in the Red Sea.

Upon exhaustion of provisions, their true character – unbelief and impatience were vividly displayed. Immediately they were overtaken by the thought that, God had brought them to the wilderness to kill them. If that were so, then HE could have easily done that in the Red Sea. God who preserved them, will HE not provide for them?? In a sense, we can see that the people of Israel’s complaining and rebellion came out of their lack of faith in a good God who would meet their every need.

Often we are also like Israelites undervaluing what God has done in our lives. Many still prefer to remain in the comfort zone controlled by enemies of God than to bear the Fatherly discipline of His children. We read in Psalm 106:7 “---they did not remember multitude of your mercies, but rebelled by the sea - the Red Sea.”

But Exodus 16:7 says God has heard their grumbling against Him. In the actual physical state, the murmuring was against their leaders; but God sees that as a rebellion against Him and was much displeased with them. The Bible reveals that God watches every rebellion and is grieved with such generation. Miriam rebelled against Moses and was struck with leprosy (Numbers 12:10). The wrath of God came upon Korah and the team for their rebellious works (Numbers 16:32).

Paul says in Romans 13:1 that we must submit to authorities as it is established by God. In the next verse, the Apostle goes on to say that “he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” God will reckon with them because such resistance reflects their resistance to God. Apostle Peter says submit even to those who are harsh in authority (1 Peter 2:18). In Ephesians, Paul asks wives to submit to husbands (5:22) and children to parents (6:1). Throughout the Bible we can see that submission and obedience are indispensable for Christian living. Where do you stand in relation to submission to the authorities placed over you by God?

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, help me to willfully submit to my God-given authorities as a sign of my faith and obedience to You. Amen.”

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