July 26

Exodus 16:2-4

“The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’” vs. 3

When Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness of Sinai he knew what he was getting into. He had spent 40 years of his life there, herding sheep and goats for his father-in-law before he was called and sent to lead his people out of Egypt. He knew it was a desolate place and that water would be scarce. But he soon discovered that it was a lot easier leading sheep than it was people. The Israelites, accustomed to life along the Nile where food was plentiful, didn’t take well to the spartan wilderness conditions and regularly made their complaints known to Moses and his brother, Aaron. Of course it’s not only Hebrews who know how to complain, it’s a familiar habit of God’s people. Even people living in the United States, where there is more than enough of everything, spend an inordinate amount of time complaining! We live with the myth of the “good old days” and too many of us think that life would be so much better if we could go back in time. Maybe it’s the uncertainties of the present that spark the complaints. We worry about the future and forget that we’re on the way to the Promised Land, and our Shepherd will never desert us!

Thought for the Day: What was better in the “good old days”?

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