Do You Grumble In The Wilderness?
Have you ever been lost in the woods before? I mean really lost. I have to say that I have been lost in the wilderness more times than I would like to admit, especially since I spend most of my waking hours in or near the woods. One time that is specifically seared into my brain happened on a family outing when I was in elementary school. My family and I somehow got off the well-marked trail at a well known hiking place near my home and as the sun started to set we stumbled further and further away from the orange blazes that marked our trail. I distinctly remember vocalizing my complaints, my fears, and my dread that we may die in the woods on this autumn night. I had a good deal of fear and frustration running through my brain and lips. What if we never made it home? We became grumpier and grumpier the longer we were lost, until my brother leaned up against a sign signaling the direction to the parking lot.
Moses seemed to have a similar situation with the people of Israel when the Lord liberated them from the nation of Egypt. Exodus 16:1-3 says. “The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” The Lord showed the people of Israel patience time and time again by sparing them despite their grumbling and complaining, but not without punishment. Had the people been obedient to the man of God placed before them and had faith, their 40 year journey could have been completed in less than a year and they could have enjoyed the promise land much sooner.
How many times do we grumble against God when we should really be praising Him for the provision we do have? With our limited vision our situation always seems much worse than it is and we could literally be leaning against the sign that signals our deliverance, if only we would stop grumbling long enough to look. Do you grumble in the wilderness?
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