Today’s Reading: Exodus 14-16
Today’s Reflection: Exodus 16:2
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.”
After 400 years of slavery, 400 years of crying out to God for deliverance, the prayers of Israel had finally been answered. In spectacular fashion, with signs and wonders and miracles and plagues, God had freed Israel from bondage in Egypt. Israel watched as God destroyed Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea, and danced and sung praises in celebration.
Now just days into their journey the children of Israel began what would become a familiar refrain. Complaints about the lack of water, about the lack of food, about the desert conditions of the wilderness, and most shockingly even calls to return to the ‘comforts’ of slavery in Egypt. The very same slavery they had been praying for deliverance from for 400 years.
There is something in the human condition that makes familiarity more desirable than change, even when the change is positive. Change means letting go of old ways of thinking and old habits that may be bad for you but have become comfortable. Change means embracing new challenges with hope rather than fear. Most importantly, change means faith that the new circumstances you’re being led into will be better than the circumstances you’re leaving. Even if the outcome of change is something better, nothing about change is easy.
But when did God say life in this world would be easy?
God has never promised ease or comfort in this life. In fact He has repeatedly warned us of trials, difficulties, and persecutions. What God has promised is that He would be with us through the trials, difficulties, and persecutions. Not IF they come, but WHEN they come. He promised this to Israel. He promises it to you too.
Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.