"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides me there is no God." Isaiah 44:6
Text: Exodus 16 : 1-3
A VERY SHORT MEMORY!
How long does the memory of significant events last? As long as we want it to last! The children of Israel had experienced much in recent months! They witnessed the plagues that ravaged and devastated Egypt! They saw the Egyptian army humiliated and demolished! How could these things be so easily forgotten? And in most recent times, special provision of water was given! Yet, before too long, the children of Israel began to complain again.
“And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation
of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin,
which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the
second month after they departed from the land of Egypt.
Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained
against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.”
God made the bitter waters of Marah sweet! He went on to lead the children of Israel to Elim, an excellent oasis! But there is no satisfying some people! Israel found another reason to complain!
A COMPLAINING SPIRIT
Many think that their complains are justifiable, especially if the area of complain is a new one! The reality may be quite different, from another standpoint! The children of Israel had acquired a complaining spirit! The complaints may be new, but the spirit of complaining was an old one! It was there when the first complaint was raised against Moses and Aaron after Pharaoh rejected the demand to release Israel from bondage. The spirit of complaining may lie low for a while, if there is nothing to complain about! But given half a chance, it will raise a pitiful, whining wail that is distracting and disgusting!
“And the children of Israel said to them,
‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD
in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat
and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out
into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'”
1. “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt…”
Did the children of Israel mean what they said? Would they have actually preferred to die because of the plagues in Egypt? And God had especially protected and preserved them!
2. “We sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full…”
How could they think that eating the bread of slavery was worthwhile remembering? How could that compare with freedom and the future in Canaan?