Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
16 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
In Exodus 16 Moses and the people of Israel had officially begun living in their “new normal” as God’s chosen people. If you remember the people of Israel had been enslaved for over 400 years in the land of Egypt. God raised up Moses and Aaron to help lead the people out of Egypt and into the land He had promised. During the Exodus narrative (Exodus 3-14) we see the hand of God at work. From God sending plagues to the Egyptians because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness, to how He literally split the Red Sea in two for the Israelites to cross as they left Egypt, God was with His people every step of the way. Now with being slaves to the Egyptians in their rear-view mirror, the Israelites found themselves in the wilderness and in a new reality.
If we are to be honest today, you and I too find ourselves in this same new reality. The COVID-19 virus, no matter your thoughts on it, has impacted the world. As the world slowly begins to open up again, the truth is “normal” as we know it will be different. In light of that reality though i’ve got some good news: The God we worship is still the same! Hallelujah! Though you may not know what this post-COVID 19 season may look like moving forward, be encouraged because God has not changed. Our hope is in the Rock of Ages! He is still in control. He is still wanting to take care of us, and listen: He still wants to use us to make an impact for the Gospel with those who are around us.
We see here in Exodus 16 God’s unchanging nature displayed. We first see how He was diligent to provide for the Israelite people. In the midst of the grumbling and complaining from the people, the Lord provided for them. Just as He provided a way out of Egypt for His people, He provided food for them to eat. Listen, the Lord is still in the business of providing for His children. He provided for you pre-COVID 19 and is able to continue to provide post COVID-19. Continue to trust in Him.
The Lord also demonstrated patience with the Israelites in the wilderness. This theme of patience is one that is seen throughout all of Exodus. As the people of Israel continued to show a lack of faith as God’s people, He did not decide to completely eradicate His people, though He could have. He was patient with them. Psalm 145 tells us that the Lord is gracious, slow to anger, and rich in love. Aren’t you thankful for His patience in our lives? Even though we struggle like the Israelites did by doubting God even though we had just seen Him work, He doesn’t let us go,or choose to strike us dead. Instead He comes alongside us and reminds us that He is worthy of our trust. He steps in and corrects us when we need correction. God’s patience is not something we ought to take for granted, but rather give Him glory for by how we live our lives for Him.
The wilderness generation in Israel were a people who had it’s struggles early on as a people adjusting to their new reality (so much so that many would not be able to enter into the promised land). We can learn a thing or two from their lack of faith and instead choose to trust God by faith post COVID-19. Listen, this morning do not be intimidated by what this new reality is going to look like in your life but rather choose to turn to the Rock of Ages and trust Him. Though life may look different, God is still the same! He is with You.
3 When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father Lord. Thank you for sustaining me through this pandemic. Help me to remember that You never change and because of that I can trust in You. Help me as I navigate through this “New Reality” in my life and in my family. Help me to walk not in fear but in victory both today and everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.