Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love
and His wonderful deeds for mankind,
for He satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Long after Pharaoh employed Jacob’s son, Joseph, as second in command in Egypt, and long after both men were buried, another Pharaoh ruled over the generations of Hebrew people in the lineage of Jacob, and his twelve sons. The twelve tribes of Israel.
This Pharaoh was a harsh ruler who determined the length of the workday, the portions for meals, and the quality of life for the millions of Hebrew people under His control. The twelve tribes of Israel were oppressed, hungry and desperate. They began to cry out to God for help.
And God heard them. He answered their prayers by choosing Moses, assisted by his brother Aaron, to meet with Pharaoh in Egypt, and demand that God’s people be set free. God had a plan of rescue, and God assured Moses that His presence would always be with him. But Moses would need to trust and obey God faithfully.
God was moving in a lengthy and methodical process and in His own very specific time frame. People wanted to be free, but they didn’t like the process. Moses endured frustrations, complaining and threats, but he kept obeying God. Slowly there was progress, and after a long while the Hebrew people miraculously stepped into freedom as they crossed the Red Sea.
Mile after mile, miracle after miracle God illustrated His love and faithfulness to His people Israel. God led Moses and His people with a cloud by day and fire by night. Great rejoicing and celebratory dancing accompanied their freedom and their dreams became reality. Generations of family gave thanks to God, but the celebratory mood was short-lived as the reality of desert wandering set in.
““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 16:3 NLT
Thirst. Where would they find water to drink?
Hunger. How would they find food?
For every dilemma, the people complained to Moses. They vented their frustration, and wailed their regrets for ever leaving Egypt – where at least they had food to eat!
Have you ever wanted out of a really bad situation, so much so, that you cried out to the Lord? And then God heard your cry and things started happening, people spoke truth, and a door of escape opened? And you knew, right? You knew it was God making that way for you where previously nothing looked possible?
And then, when you got through the door into unfamiliar territory, you got scared. Nothing around you made sense. You might be free, but you didn’t feel comfortable or secure. You didn’t know how you were going to make it until tomorrow…
How many times did you think maybe you should just go back? I mean, a u-turn was the way back to bondage, a miserable way to live, but at least you knew how it worked.
Maybe you’ve never been there, but I have. This is the crossroad of your life. You get to choose. Trust God and go with Him into the scary unknown or go back to the familiar destructive way. It’s a kairos moment, and you get to choose.
So far, I’ve chosen in each pivotal crossroad of my life to follow God’s way. But I can testify to the fear, anxiety and trepidation I have experienced by stepping outside my comfort zone with God. I can also testify that God did the miraculous to set me free, and help me to understand that He is always with me. He’s always provided what I’ve needed (not wanted), in excess, and in just the right time.
So back to the hangry people living in the wilderness…
Moses took their complaints to God. They needed food and water. They all cried, and God heard. Moses was given the meal plan, and Moses explained to the people just exactly how the meals would arrive from God. As usual, some people listened, and some didn’t. Some people acted greedily and some were conservative with their harvesting.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.””
Exodus 16:4-5 NLT
But all were fed by God, and Him alone. He fed them everyday, but the Sabbath, and they were nourished for forty years until He delivered His people into the land of promise.
It was a long journey to faith in God. Including Moses, the people were not always obedient, but God faithfully provided. God set a feast table and invited all who would come, take and eat. The same can be said of me and my journey with Jesus, long and sometimes bumpy.
““Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
Revelation 3:20 NLT
Still, today, Jesus offers a banquet table. His invitation is for you and for me to come, take and eat with Him. He offers full satisfaction, not for our fleshly desires, but for His Word and His Spirit. For life, full and free. But, we have to keep saying yes to going His way.
Don’t turn back. Okay?
Eyes on Jesus and Shine,