Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God's Patience--Ex 14-16

The Red Sea...This is big time salvation, but I want you to notice the people's reactions to their circumstances.  They complain sarcastically to Moses about graves in Egypt.  They praise God for their rescue, but within three days, they're back at the complaining--this time about water.  A few more weeks and they're complaining about food. 

Drying Coriander Seed--Looks like Manna

This becomes a theme for about the next 40 years, but what I hadn't seen before is that God doesn't react to any of this yet.  He get's Moses moving on a solution at the bank of the Red Sea, but he doesn't chide the people.  He provides water purification and promises freedom from sickness and disease at Mara, but he doesn't scold.  He sends quail and Manna, and sends His glory with the announcement.  He is pretty disappointed that they don't obey his instructions about the manna, but His biggest issue is that He's giving them something good when he provides them a day to rest, but they don't trust Him.  They can't even trust Him for good things. 

It's normal for a baby to cry when it has needs.  It's not normal for adults in a loving, trusting relationship.  It's normal to build trust over time, but for goodness sakes, He rescued them as He planned through 10 plagues and parting the Red Sea--Can't they just ask nicely for what they need and trust that He can and will provide it?

Can't I trust Him and ask nicely?  (ouch.)  I'm not so sure, especially when I'm scared and I've never seen Him do that (whatever it is) before.  I don't see why I can't trust Him to provide my latest need when I've watched Him provide for all the other ones, but I frequently don't. 

Then, one day I learned how to trust Him just a little.  For me, it took walking in obedience and watching all of my own efforts toward His goal fall apart.  As I cried out to Him, confessing my inadequacy and the hopelessness of my plight, He responded with an unshakable peace.  Even our trust (faith) is a gift from Him.  He did rescue us--and achieve His goal, but not within the abilities of mankind.  He did it as only He can.  He had a plan and my discomfort was a vital part of the plan.  I've seen some of what He did through that period in our lives, and I am amazed, even years later. 

Trust builds slowly.  God does eventually get irritated at their complaining, but He takes the time to teach them to trust Him.  That's what the wilderness is all about. 

What is He teaching you to trust Him about right now?

Father, Thank You for gently taking me to the end of my own resources so that You can show me Your resources and generosity.  Thank You for your patience with my unbelief.  Forgive Me.  I am working on it...

(As I was looking for pictures of manna, I found a recipe for Banana Manna that looks spectacular...Let me know if any of you try it)

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