July 27

Exodus 16:9-15

“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” vs. 12

As the Hebrews looked back on their time in the wilderness, their story centered on the ultimate graciousness of God. Even when they had complained to Moses and Aaron and wished they’d never been brought out of Egypt, when the Lord spoke through Moses there was an underlying word of grace. Even though their behavior had been despicable and provocative, they were given the meat and bread that they desired. We learn from this ancestral story that even when we’re at our worst we will be provided for. God doesn’t respond to our whining with punishment or abandonment. Even those who complain the loudest about their life conditions will be cared for–the bread of life is for all, even those who do not deserve it. Of course things don’t always work out as Moses thought they would. Even God’s gracious provision didn’t guarantee that the people would be faithful. In fact, it wasn’t long before they were complaining again. And so it has gone through the centuries! We are well taken care of, bounty is heaped on our doorsteps, and we still regularly respond with complaints. It really is a mystery how we can be so ungrateful while living in the land of plenty.

Thought for the Day: Why is God so patient with us?

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