After God delivered the people of Israel from the clutches of the Egyptian armies, Moses composed a song and sang it with the people. It is a beautiful song of praise and deliverance, found in Exodus 15. I recognized one of our present day praise songs nestled amongst the verses. When our worship is taken straight from Scripture, oh! what a glorious gift to God!
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” ~ Exodus 15:1-2 (KJV)
After the song, however, we are told that three days into their journey in the wilderness, “the people grumbled at Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?'” ~ Exodus 15:24
Why do we see the amazing things God has done in our lives, and even praise Him for them, and then, with the same mouth, grumble and complain and panic when faced with another problem situation? Why can’t we walk in obedience and faith all of the time, trusting God, because He does, in fact, always provide? At least we can recognize it in the sons of Israel as wrong, and then work on our own lives and knee-jerk reactions!
God once again provided for the people and gave them water to drink. But soon they had another complaint…
“And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'” ~ Exodus 16:2-3
Really? After all of the amazing signs and wonders and deliverance that God had done on their behalf?
But I go to that same place all too easily. Things suddenly get hard, and I don’t always go right to God asking for His help and provision like I should. Instead, sometimes, I worry, complain, fear, stress.
Again, God made provision for the people. He sent quail and manna to eat.
“So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, ‘At evening you will know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?’ And Moses said, ‘This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.'” ~ Exodus 16:6-8
Here is a good reminder, and warning, for us. We might think we are just upset and grumbling at our situation or about someone who has hurt us. But really, we are grumbling against God. God, Who “is my strength and song”, Who “has become my salvation”, Who “is my God, and I will praise Him”… I grumble against Him!
God, help me to not grumble! I want to praise, trust, and follow You, all the days of my life!