Scripture Reading — Exodus 16:1-3
If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! — Exodus 16:3
An empty stomach speaks loudly. Just ask anyone who spends much of his or her life without enough to eat.
In Israel’s case, the people’s empty stomachs out-preached the lessons of the exodus from Egypt. God’s stunning rescue of Israel was only a few weeks old when Israel found itself in the wilderness without a ready supply of food. The people heard their stomachs growling and foolishly concluded that the God who had rescued them had suddenly abandoned them. In a colossal insult to God they cried out that they would rather be well-fed and dead in Egypt than hungry in the wilderness with God.
It doesn’t take much for people to forget God. The values of a pagan culture, the desires of our heart, and the struggles of life call out to us in powerful ways. So often we foolishly listen to their messages and forget that the God who has rescued us from slavery to sin will “graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32). We forget that God loves us. We forget that he has promised to rescue us, save us, and keep us from harm. We forget that God is faithful.
Let’s recall again what we have learned about God’s love. In God’s unfailing love he will lead the people he has redeemed. That includes you and me, as believers in Jesus Christ. In his strength God will guide us into his very presence, where he satisfies our souls.
Father, our ears are inclined to hear and be distracted by other voices. May we hear your words, your promises, your summons to joy. Amen.