And the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God. And God heard their sighing and groaning and earnestly remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites and took knowledge of them and concerned Himself about them. Exodus 2:23B-25
Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. “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 all to death.” Exodus 16:1-3
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Over 400 years earlier Jacob and his clan of about 70 people were the start of this vast community of Israel that complained against Moses, Aaron, and God in the wilderness. Initially, Egypt was God’s provision to preserve Israel from destruction by famine and then it became His means of building them into a great nation numerically. Finally, a king had arisen who did not remember Joseph. And so with all the benefits of that connection having become history and their size and power having made them an overwhelming threat, Israel became severely mistreated slaves in the land of Egypt. With great concern for the plight of His people, with great regard for His promises to them in the past, and with zealous intent for carrying out His purposes for them at this juncture in history, God set in motion a plan for extracting them from Egypt and placing them in the promised land of Canaan. God extracting Israel from Egypt has been accomplished but it seems Egypt has not been extracted from their minds and hearts.
Thus, God placing His people in the promised land of Canaan becomes rather difficult because it requires a co-operation on their part that flows out of faith, surrender, and dependence. Instead, His people are a miserable, grumbling, complaining lot. Down through the ages God continues to be at work establishing for Himself a people who are distinctly His and it always involves extracting them from a path of living for themselves and placing them on a path of living for God. As His people today we often thwart what God is doing in our lives because like Israel of old, we lose our focus when facing adversity. We fall into the trap of longing for that from which God has extracted us in the past, doubting God’s provision in the present, and forgetting about the glorious outcome He has in mind for us in the future. How often we choose the agenda we think will make for a good and successful life over the supreme agenda God has for us. This problem and the solution for it are the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I see how I am so like Israel of old. I also know how quickly being able to see myself rightly slips away and makes it difficult for me to escape my living for myself and embrace my living for you. I really do want your supreme addenda for my life and not my own. Please make me into one who is distinctly yours by completely extracting me from the path of living for myself and completely placing me on the path of living fully for you. Amen!
Posted on Mon, March 9, 2020
by Ken Hart