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Daily Devotions – Complaining Israelites

 

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Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Exodus 15:22-16:15 (NIV)
The Waters of Marah and Elim
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Manna and Quail
16 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. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 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.” 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way, I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day, they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” 9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. 11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight, you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” 13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.

 

How did God respond to the complaints of the Israelite’s He had just freed from slavery? Did they have cause to complain after all they’d seen God do? Do you when you’re angry with God?

 

Almighty God, You did such miraculous things to save the Israelites from captivity, to feed them, You created drinking water in the desert, you provided meat and daily bread for them to eat, and even kept their shoes from wearing out for all those years, but still, they grumbled. I too have experienced miracles in my life. You have given me many gifts so that I live in abundance but yet I too am not satisfied and I grumble. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to appreciate what I have been given, my health, my family, my home, my skills, my church family, my freedom, and all of my abundance. But all of these things, are not important compared to Your gift of forgiveness, mercy, and grace that You have freely given me when I didn’t deserve it. Help me keep my focus on Your cross and Your promise for everlasting life and not measure my satisfaction on things of this world. Help me to replace my grumbling with praise for You. Amen.