The nation of Israel had just come out of slavery, 400 years of bondage to another nation. In a dramatic scene worthy of a big screen action adventure movie, Jehovah God rescued them.
For 400 years they had been enslaved in a foreign land with foreign customs. Their identity had not only been challenged, their captors had attempted to redefine them.
Now they were free. Now they were outside of Egypt. In order to get where they were going, they had to go through the wilderness. The chase was over. They knew they were free. But they didn’t know where they were going. They knew they were Israelites, but they only knew the life of slavery.
In Egypt life had been hard. They had been brutally treated, overworked and under fed, beaten, bruised physically and emotionally. Now, in the wilderness they felt alone. With nothing around them, they felt exposed. As the chase out of Egypt subsided, their adrenaline eased up. Now they were tired and hungry. Now they felt vulnerable. God intended them to draw closer to Him in their hunger.
But God is faithful. He never brings us into a new season without provision. God provided manna directly from His hand to feed the nation of Israel. The Hebrew word for manna translates to “what”. The nation of Israel didn’t know what this substance was.
The nation of Israel was having an encounter with Jehovah God. God was introducing them to a deeper, more intimate part of His heart; to be their complete provision; to lead them into their destiny, not as slaves, but as sons and daughters. This was their true identity.
When we are tired and hungry and fearful, we are vulnerable. We are vulnerable to skewed thinking, and we are vulnerable to doubt. The Israelites fell to the temptation to thinking that life in Egypt was preferable over trusting Jehovah God for provision and promise.
The pain of trusting God in a season of transition can often outweigh the pain of our prior slavery, causing us to return to our previous season instead of moving forward into our destiny.
Here are some take-a ways from this text:
- The people didn’t understand nor trust God’s plan. They didn’t understand that God’s heart was for them, that His provision was for both today and the future.
- The people didn’t recognize the daily provision God sent them. When they did, they still didn’t trust Him to provide daily for everything they needed.
- The people trusted the provision of their Egyptian oppressors more than the provision from God’s hand. They wanted their freedom on their own terms.
- The people lacked vision for their future.
Lack of trust and lack of vision.
Both trust and vision are necessary in order to break free from old mindsets. They are both necessary in order to catch a vision for our future. God had so much abundance planned for them. But they couldn’t see beyond the next meal.
Hindsight is 20:20 vision. Let’s look back over the thousands of years and learn from their lives.
- Are you in a season where it’s hard to trust God for His plan and His provision? Gather a couple of friends to be bookends for you. Pray with them. Remind yourself of what God has done in the past, how He has provided.
- Are you missing provision because you don’t understand what it is? Ask God to open your eyes to the manna He is sending each day. Take one day at a time. Don’t get ahead of Him on the journey. Let Him lead.
- Are you tempted to go back to where it was painful, but predictable? Get your friends to help you with a reality check. Is going back really worth the cost of going forward?
- Are you lacking vision for your life? We all have a specific plan for our lives. Each of us is created with purpose, with things that bring us incredible satisfaction. Search it out! It’s a priceless treasure that will change your life.
Trust me. That’s my story. You can do this!
* My heart is to help people through the wilderness. I had wonderful bookend friends on my journey. I would be honored to be one of yours. Just let me know.