Devotional Exodus 16:8

(Exodus 16:8Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”

The children of Israel are known throughout the breadth of the scripture for their stubbornness and their perpetual complaining about their situation.  In this case, they have come out of bondage in Egypt, rescued by the Lord with a remarkable demonstration of power culminating in the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea!  They’re following the movement of a supernatural cloud by day, or a miraculous column of fire by night…God is obviously with them.  Of that there could be no doubt.

But then the flesh rises up!  As soon as they have a pang of hunger, they complain that they would have been better off in Egypt, still under the sting of the taskmaster’s whip, laboring to build cities and monuments to ungodly rulers, but where they could at least have a sandwich!

The only reason the people of Israel are the poster-children for stubbornness and griping, is that the Bible was finished before we came along!!  Most of us could certainly take their place, at least from time to time.  That being said, we must realize the truth of what Moses says (indeed, what God says) about their complaining.  Their complaints against Moses were misplaced.  Though Moses was the instrument God used to bring them to where they were, he did so at God’s direction thus, their complaint was ultimately against God, not Moe!

If we believe that God is sovereignly in control, then whatever we experience in life comes through God’s hands.  Therefore, as hard as it is for us to admit, any dissatisfaction regarding our circumstance is a complaint against what God has allowed or perhaps even mandated!

Fortunately for the nation of Israel, God was patient and merciful with them, as He is with us.  But His grace does not absolve us of the responsibility to confess our complaint and seek the empowering of the Holy Spirit to enable us to trust Him more fully.