Exodus 16:2 – 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 the desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – Anyone who has ever gone on a long road trip or vacation by car can likely relate to this cartoon. My dad would say, ‘if I have to stop this car…” In all my years of growing up, my brothers and I never heard the rest of that sentence. We never had to.
The Israelites had a short memory, having come from slavery. Like the Israelites, we have a tendency to focus on our present circumstances and remember the past as perhaps better than it really was. This is a form of ingratitude like “what have you done for me lately God,” or “why are you letting this happen to me now God.”
My Advice – We may face many “road trips” and “desert wanderings” in this life. They all have a purpose that God will use to grow our character. Let’s do our best to focus less on present circumstances and what is and more on God working in our lives to make them what can be. And while we are at it, let’s not be revisionists about our past, but focus on the reality of how God was with us all along, with deliverance from our slavery to sin as He takes us through our own desert wanderings on the road to “the promised land.” “[F]or it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose,” so “[d]o everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:13, 14 – NIV 1978). Because we really do not want Him to “stop this car” or “turn our Exodus around.”