The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.
The Lord has rescued Israel from Egypt. Defeated the Egyptian army right before their very eyes. He now leads them by day with a cloud and by night with a fiery pillar. He is before them and behind them and all around them. Yet, what seems to be the first sign of trouble on their new journey brings out the worst in them. They are literally feeling as if they would have been better off to die in Egypt where at least their bellies were full. Better to die in ruthless slavery satiated than to live in freedom hungry. It’s almost unbelievable, except for the fact that most every human we know reacts the same way when life gets a little tough. We are bent toward the negative because of sin and we are quick to whine. It’s just who we are and it’s sad.
During difficult days when we are needy, hurting and afraid, we must remember that these are times of testing and that Father God’s testing always serves our best interest. His permissive will is always for our benefit. He tests us with difficulties in order to teach us that His way is best. Always. What He commands is in line with His design and thus works for the eternal good of those who will submit to His will. Father God takes no pleasure in the death of His children. He longs for us to truly live. When we can’t see the glory of the forest for the trees, we have to remember that He created the forest. Even the most painful, challenging times serve His purposes for our good.
To obey is to choose true life and goodness. To rebel is to bring death into one’s very being.