January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

EXODUS 16-18

Focus Verse: “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’”

Exodus 16:2-3

It is so easy to look at the Israelites here and thing, “What jerks!” They just watched God deliver them from Egypt with a mighty hand. Miracle after miracle after miracle. He showed them, without question, that the God of the universe, the creator of everything, had heard their cries for help, seen the oppression the Egyptians had been putting them through, and cared enough to save them from 400 years of slavery. But now they’d like to go back because they had pots of meat to eat?

Are these guys for real!?! Is that really a trade off anyone would be willing to make? Cruel oppression and slavery for an all you can eat, meat buffet? I am going to go out on a limb and say their memory is starting to fade. If I had to guess, portions in Egypt probably weren’t as generous as these Israelites wanted to remember them.

The audacity of these Israelites! What gall? Who do they think they are?

But let’s not be too hasty. We do the same thing every day. We overlook thousands of blessings every day and focus on what God isn’t giving us. I long for the days when I was in college and actually had time to play video games. Can you imagine this modern day Exodus scene:

“God, you have brought me through the land of collegiate education with a degree, but what good is said degree! I don’t even have a job in that field and on top of that, I used to play video games all day long and had very few responsibilities! Send me back to those glory days!”

But what are my responsibilities? My beautiful family; my absolutely amazing wife and two adorable children. We can stop right there and be done with this argument. Would anyone in their right mind trade a perfect family to be able to go back and play more video games? It’s insane right! I could go on with even more blessings (responsibilities); my job that I absolutely love. It’s not what I got my college degree in, but I get paid to worship my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I get paid to tell people about Jesus! What a blessing. My house, my truck, my health…I could go on all day.

And to be honest, I should go on all day (not that I’ll make you read all of that), we all should go on all day with the ways in which we are blessed. I kind of wonder if after these words left the Israelites lips if they didn’t catch themselves a little bit. Or maybe they had really lost sight of God’s blessings that quickly.

We live in a world of complainers. Scroll through Facebook sometime and count the number of posts that are complaining about something. It’s astounding. But we can change that. We can start today.

Focus on God’s blessings. Have a thankful heart and you will have joy and peace even when, materially, you have very little.

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