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Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)
TITLE: My Portion
By Allen Duty
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About this time, some of the others in their group began to grumble amongst themselves. They complained out loud and cried out to Moses, the leader God had chosen to guide the Hebrew people out of their captivity.
“It is late,” one complained, “Where will we get food for our families?”
“It was far better for us in Egypt! Where are you taking us?” another demanded.
The man wondered how these people could have so little faith. Had God not sent the plagues over Egypt as a witness against Pharaoh? Was it not only days ago that the Lord had parted the Red Sea to give them safe passage? “I AM” had never let them down.
The man was startled back to the present when he nearly ran into the back of the person walking in front of him. Looking around, he noticed that the travelers had all stopped moving. Silence washed over the group like a wave. The man looked up to see Moses standing still with his head and hands raised toward heaven. Minutes passed as the silence grew thicker. By this time, some in the group began to look around, bewildered at why their group had stopped. This couldn’t be where they would stop for the night; there was no shelter anywhere to be seen, and certainly nowhere to find something to quiet his aching stomach. After what seemed like an eternity to the weary travelers, Moses lowered his head and hands. With the full attention of the group, he turned and faced them.
Moses’ deep eyes belied the sadness that he felt in his heart. He wondered if he was the right man to lead this nation. Remembering God’s words to him before they left Egypt provided some comfort. “Moses,” God said, “Go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say” (Exodus 4:12). Like so many times before, he opened his mouth and trusted that God would speak through him.
The man listened as Moses told them that, despite the unbelieving hearts of the Hebrew people, God would provide meat in the evening and bread in the morning. His wife looked at him with relief in her face. They knew that the word of the Lord was trustworthy and sure.
Dawn broke early the next day, with the first rays of the sun slicing through the few trees that could be seen on the horizon of the desert. The man sat up and stretched his tense back. His eyes, still half-closed from weariness, detected something covering the ground. At first glance, it looked like dew. He reached down with his worn and calloused hands and scraped a thin layer off of the ground. After turning it over in his hands, he raised the substance to his bearded face. Ever so gingerly, he put his tongue to it.
And the man began to weep.