Matthew 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.”
We don’t think much of this verse in our modern-day times. Everything we want to eat is readily available and easily accessible. We don’t have to go out and kill just to ensure we can feed our family for the day.
Unlike Old Testament Israel, whose survival was day to day. And that included 430 years of demanding, demeaning, and demoralizing slavery in Egypt.
Yet now they are in a season where they continue to experience miracle after miracle. They had just “plundered the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:35-36) and taken great amounts of provision as they were thrown out of the country. Then they saw God drown the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:27-28) while they safely crossed through the waters on dry land (Exodus 14:29). Now they are freely walking toward and then into God’s promised land!
And they should be rejoicing. The have the one Power who can defeat entire armies on their side. But no! Less than a week after they saw the Red Sea miracle, they start complaining. Instead of praying to Him, they start whining at Him (Exodus 15:22-26).
Then only a month later they do it again. Dramatically. “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’” (Exodus 16:3).
Barely one month out of the slavery they prayed every day to escape, and here they are suddenly ready to go back.
Why? Because they had an uncertain of a little meat and bread. They have conveniently forgotten the back-breaking work, the whips, the babies killed, and the lack of freedom.
And again, instead of praying, they go to complaining. To a spoiled child yelling “I hate you” and stomping her foot level. Because they were a little hungry.
They never chose to consider the miracles of the last two months or the power of God available to them. Instead, they chose to look at their current (temporary) lack and become loudly bitter about what they were missing.
And how often do we do the same thing?
How often do we choose to overlook God’s unending goodness to us?
How often do we choose to ignore God’s continued faithfulness to us?
When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?
Do you run back to that unhealthy relationship, unyielding addiction, or unhappy shame?
Or do you run to the One who wants to comfort, protect, and restore you?
Israel chose the former, choosing to see hope in the actually hopeless Egypt. They didn’t stop to consider anything beyond their current problem and what they saw as the only possible solution. So they joined forces, “… the whole congregation of the children of Israel …” (Exodus 16:2) coming together in a corporate hissy fit.
When they could have made a better choice. Why couldn’t they have come together in corporate prayer instead? Why couldn’t they have done like David and recited God’s faithfulness up to that point (1 Samuel 17:34-36)?
I personally have never seen God drown an entire army of thousands of people to save and protect me. But Israel did. I personally have never seen a tree thrown into bitter waters so they would become sweet and life-giving. But Israel did. And I personally have never seen God pass over an entire country and take the firstborn son of every family not protected by His provision. But Israel did.
Yet they were not fully persuaded about His love. Their hearts were still stuck back in the “comforts” of the slavery they once decried and despised.
How about you?
How are you persuaded about God?
Is He for you?
Because He is for you. You are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) created especially for His good pleasure and precious relationship.
Does He love you?
Because He does love you. More than you can understand (Ephesians 3:18) and with a fierceness nothing can penetrate (Romans 8:38-39).
Is His compassionate hand on your life?
Because He is with you every moment of every day. There is nowhere too far, too low, or too deep for Him to know where you are (Psalm 139:7-12) and choose to embrace you – just as you are, to help you heal back to wholeness.
So today the choice is yours.
Will you be ungrateful Israel, overlooking all of your blessings and complaining about what you think you don’t have?
Or will you be awe-inspired to worship and trust the One who always provides for you?
I pray you choose to believe for His provision!
Marie Fremin. 7/22/18