Text: Exodus 16:1 –
The Israelites finally got away and the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea. They were finally on their way to the Promised Land but soon the people began to complain.
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
Their grumbling was heard and God gave them Manna every day. Then the Israelites got bored with Manna and complained again. So, God gave them quail (meat) to eat.
“We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:5-6
They had a complaint problem. They were not satisfied with the provisions God had given them for the time even though He had told them they would have a promised land.
They kept looking back and couldn’t see the future. (There is a reason cars have a large windscreen and a small rear view mirror because God wants us to focus on where we are going not where we have been.)
Whenever we remember something, we mostly remember the good. Not all the time but if it was bad it doesn’t seem as bad in hindsight.
They were so hungry for the Egyptian foods they couldn’t think about how God was caring for them each moment, as they awaited the wonderful Promised Land.
They couldn’t be thankful for the blessings they were receiving at the moment from God. It wasn’t perfect or God’s final plan but the manna and quail were temporary blessings that the people failed to see.
The people complained and said to Moses ‘leave us alone’ Exodus 14:11-12
We sometimes blame the pastor, preacher or our Christian friend who has been witnessing to us for all the new drama and pressure in our life.
The people complained about the bitter water – Exodus 15:22
This is when we are faced with the bitterness of changing our diet from the things of the world to the things of God. Like asking a child to go from sugary foods to eating their vegetables, it never happens without a protest.
The people complained about being hungry; God gives them Manna – Exodus 16:1-4 This is when our spiritual growth produces greater hunger. However, its the not the earthly food we are used to; God begins to feed us with heavenly food. The same is true for us. A heart of gratitude and thankfulness isn’t dependent on our bank statement, a doctor’s diagnosis or the praise we receive for a job well done. Thanklessness and grumbling regardless of our situation, even our suffering reflect our heart.
How can we guard ourselves from this spiritual forgetfulness? How can we root out the sickness that threatens our joy and faith? Very simply the antidote is to remember. Remember God’s gracious deliverance and redemption. Establish it in our memory. Since we’re inclined to grumble, to be thankless and to complain about our circumstances, God graciously reminds us that we must remember his gracious redemption and provision.
Remember how God has protected you from making shipwreck of your life.
Remember how God graciously brought you back when you did.
Remember how God awakened you to the ugliness of your sin.
Remember how you walked away from what should have been a fatal accident.
Remember how your wife, sister, or mum survived breast cancer.
Remember how you had mentors and key friends guide you in your faith.
Remember how God sustained you during that season of unemployment.
Remember how God miraculously healed you.
Remember that seemingly impossible prayer request that God answered.
Remember how you had no money and an envelope just showed up in the post with exactly the amount you needed.
Remember how the gospel came alive as it never had before.
Remember God. The antidote to spiritual amnesia is making every effort to recall and remember God’s gracious deliverance. Don’t let that wonder ever fade. Remember.
Let this act of remembering awaken in us joy in God and a deep sense of gratitude that God loves us, knows us and keeps us.