Exodus 16:21-36 / Read
Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and instructions?”
As you read and reflect on today’s passage, how does God’s question hit you? We may be tempted in our modern, Western culture to believe that the God of the Bible, especially the God of the Old Testament, is a traffic cop or a grumpy grandpa waiting to bust people or looking at them with disappointment when they make mistakes.
Both of these false views of God result from the false belief that a relationship with God is won or lost according to our obedience. This passage - and, in fact, the entirety of Scripture - show us that the opposite is true.
The provision of manna was just the latest act of grace that God showed his people. Since he first revealed his plan to deliver the Israelites from captivity in Egypt (Exodus 3), he had given and fulfilled one promise after another. But why did he make promises to them in the first place? Why did he fight for them?
Surely it was because he loved them. Surely it was because he wanted to be close with them. It was his intention for people since the beginning (see Genesis 1-2). He had told Moses, “I have heard [my people] and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them and [deliver them] into a good and spacious land.” (Exodus 3:7-10)
God was fulfilling his promise with the provision of manna. We was keeping them alive in a desert - not because they had earned it, but because he loved them.
God invites us to listen for his word and trust in it, not so we can get him but because we have him. He is always good and always has our good in mind. When he asks, “How long will you disobey?” he’s really asking, “How long will you forget how much I love you?”
Take a moment to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, words and actions during a typical day. Are they marked more by peace or anxiety? Are they marked more by joy or discontent? Are you satisfied with what you have or consumed with how you’ll get more?
What might be the relationship between your answers to the questions above and your view of God?
Take some time to remember what God did for you yesterday. Where did you experience his grace - his forgiveness, provision, guidance and protection that came to you even though you didn’t live perfectly?
Spend a moment in quiet reflection and prayer. Ask God to speak to you light of today’s reading and the questions above. How to you sense him inviting you to change your thoughts or actions?