Every time I read Exodus 16, I am struck by verse 8.

The Israelites have been traveling for about two and a half months. They had seen God give them favor with the Egyptians causing the Egyptians to give them their gold and silver as they left. They participated at the Red Sea miracle by crossing on dry land and then watched as God resumed the flow of water to rush over the Egyptian horses and riders and kill them. They sang and danced about the great victory. They saw God make bitter water pure in Marah. They must have rejoiced when God lead them to a place in the desert with “twelve springs and seventy palm trees” (Exodus 15:27).

But now they were facing hunger again. So they “grumbled against Moses and Aaron…‘If only we had died by the LORD’S hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.'” (Exodus 16:2b3).

How quickly we forget how bad slavery really was when we begin to experience the responsibilities and trials of freedom. Our poor memories cause us to want to return to slavery! Make it not so, Lord!

The Israelites were saying that they would rather be a slave to their former Egyptian masters who had been abusive to them, than to learn to trust the invisible God. Not that He was really invisible. I have reiterated the dramatic miracles that the Israelites had experienced in less than two and a half months. It wasn’t just one or two miracles – I count five in my list above. And my list doesn’t include the most precious miracle of all – that the Lord led them every day with His visible presence – He led them with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22). The Lord was there among them day in and day out.

Yet Scripture records that the “whole community” grumbled against Moses and Aaron. There wasn’t a single person to be found (other than Moses and Aaron) who remembered God’s faithfulness and encouraged the community to remain faithful.

And then we come to verse 8 – Moses points out the reality of the situation when he says to the people “You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” (Ex 16:8b)

…And I am reminded that my grumbling is never against the situation or the people that I’m in the situation with, but against God.

Do you see that without the situation being what it was, God would not have had the opportunity to show His power and faithfulness to the Israelites. God’s ability to do the miraculous and His mercy to reach down and rescue us cannot be demonstrated until we’re in the position of needing a miracle. If I want to see God work a miracle in my life, I must need a miracle.

How foolish of me to grumble about the very circumstances that (1) God allowed in my life (2) so that He could demonstrate His power and faithfulness to me! It’s like grumbling at God’s miracle in the making. I don’t want to grumble at God while he’s making a miracle just for me.

Will you join me in that? Let’s make our lives a wonderful no-grumble zone, and instead practice trusting God for our own miracle in the making.

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