Lessons we can learn from the Israelites
When we first brought home our sweet Bella, a Jack Russell/Bird dog mix, five years ago, we wanted her to feel safe and secure. We did our best to give her a lot of attention and love. We tucked her in her new bed with a soft blanket and left her alone. All we had done was not enough, she whined and cried that first night. She missed her sisters and she was in an unfamiliar place.
After being rescued by our son, her knight in shinning armor, she slept peacefully on his chest the rest of the night. No more whining from Bella.
It seems that the Israelite nation had a problem with whining too but it lasted much longer than a night.
Moses had been sent by God to rescue them from slavery to the Egyptians. It wasn't an assignment Moses asked for but he was obedient to the task. The people whined and complained from the beginning. As they were fleeing Egypt they became trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army hot on their heels. Being afraid they began to whine and complain.
Exodus 14:11-12(NKJV) says “Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
So God miraculously parted the Red Sea and allowed them to cross safely to the other side on dry ground.
He then drowns the Egyptians who come behind them by putting the Red Sea back together.
After experiencing such a powerful demonstration of Gods power no more complaining now, right?
We find in Exodus 16:3(NKJV)”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.” They complained about being hungry. Looking further into verse 4 we find God rains down manna from Heaven to feed them. They can't pig out just yet though because God has guidelines they must follow. They can't be greedy and try to hoard up the food. They have a quota of food they are allowed per household and it will go bad quickly. They ate manna from heaven for 40 years!
The bellies of the Israelites are now satisfied but they still are not. They want water. Still in complaining mode they pick up again in Exodus 17:3 (NKJV) “and the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained again Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Once again God miraculously provides their need by having water come from a rock (Exodus 17:6)
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and complained the whole time. Is it any wonder that most of the original group did not get to see the Promised Land?
Whining and complaining is the sign of an ungrateful heart. Are we guilty of doing the same thing? Do we complain to God even though He provides for us over and over again? Maybe it is time we stopped whining and complaining. Maybe its time we started praising God and thanking Him for what He has done.
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