“This is what the Lord has commanded…” Exodus 16:16
This morning as my husband Del and I were doing our daily reading, I heard the Lord speak to me. It was a thought that ran through my head that could not have come from anywhere else but God. It made my heart stop and my spirit quicken. What a joy to hear His sweet voice!
Del and I are in the process of reading through the Bible and now we are reading the Book of Exodus. To refresh–
The cruelty of the Egyptians toward the Hebrews had gotten too intense and they were crying out to their God who heard their cries. Moses was commissioned by God to lead His people out of Egypt. Initially, Moses argued that he was not capable, but eventually God won out. (This is a story in itself, but I will talk about it another time).
Under Moses’ leadership the Israelites began their journey fairly willingly, but soon began kicking and screaming (grumbling and complaining). That was settled by the intervention of God as Moses parted the Red Sea. The Hebrews crossed safely, but the Egyptians were drowned when the waters folded over them as they pursued the Hebrews. (Hang on there, I’m getting to my point)
The Hebrews soon forgot what the Lord had done and started—guess what?—you got it, grumbling and complaining. This time about having nothing to eat or drink. Once again God provided. He sent quail and manna from heaven. God commanded Moses to hit the rock so that water would flow and he did. The people were no longer hungry or thirsty.
Now remember the Hebrew people were foreigners in a strange land. It had been 400+ years that they had lived in Egypt being brought from Israel by Joseph to survive a great famine. (Again another story) Therefore, this land was not considered their homeland anymore. And the people who lived there, the Amalekites, saw them as intruders invading their land. It had been 635 years since God promised Abraham that he would make a great nation of Abraham’s descendants and bless the nation as his chosen people. And here they are in the land they were promised, albeit they probably had no idea, and they were having to fight for their lives. “It would have been better to have stayed in Egypt!” they cried.
OK here it is!—The Lord spoke to me and showed me that this is not just a story from long ago. It is relevant even for today, in fact, for tomorrow and forever.
Do we keep the Sabbath and make it holy?
Do we work 6 days and rest and worship on the 7th?
Do we welcome strangers and foreigners into our land? Or do we build walls to keep them out?
Let me just say that if the answer to the first two questions is “Yes,” then the last two would be “Yes” and “No’ consecutively.
This is the word of the Lord. Praise be to God! Those who have ears, let them hear.
Let us pray,
Dear Lord, open my ears that I may hear, my eyes that I may see, my mouth that I may speak, and my heart that I may love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen