From the moment they left Goshen to the time when they first got to the Promised Land and sent the spies in was over a year. I don’t know that I can even fathom taking a trip where the destination was a year away!
God provided abundantly for their clothes did not wear out, and their shoes did not wear out. Yet even with this provision, time hurt their testimony.
Exodus 16 – 2 months and 15 days have passed
It has been that long since the plagues and the deliverance through the Red Sea. The Red Sea was firmly in the rear-view mirror, the supplies that they had brought out of Egypt were low, and there were many people to feed. The children of Israel started to grumble (vs 2)
God hears the complaints and offers a solution. He provides manna in the morning and quail at night, with the condition that they only pick up enough for a day. They would always have all they could want/need. Yet some still fail by gathering too much.
Exodus 17 – He provides them another miracle
He shows them water from a rock. This would be a new miracle to show that He is still with them.
Exodus 19 – God shows Him His glory at Mount Sinai
Moses is up in the mountain 30 days. The people decide that something must have happened to him, and revert to their old form, wanting an idol. Aaron is not strong enough to stand his ground, and makes a golden calf. Moses loses it and breaks the stone tablets God made.
Numbers 10:11 – We are now 1 year, 2 months and 20 days into the trip from Egypt
Numbers 11 – God calls the Israelites to leave Mount Sinai
And the people complained. God responds with fire, killing some on the outside of the camp.Israel asks Moses to intercede, and he does.
And the people complained. God is angered. Moses is angered, asking God why He must be the one to carry this burden.God offers a solution for both Moses and the people.
He takes some of the spirit from Moses and will put it on 70 helpers. He will provide meat for a whole month, until they can’t stand it any more. And the people gathered it, and ate it, and God sent a plague and killed many because of their gluttony.
God expects holiness in the mundane times
In the Peaks and Valleys, it is easier to be holy. The Peaks are times when we are close to God and want to be holy. The Valleys are times when He feels distant or we’re prompted to want to go back.
In those in between times, it’s hard to continue to press on. Things seem quiet, routine. It’s hard to rest in knowing He is still there.
Our human nature seeks its own benefit. We complain about the good things that God has blessed us with. We are not satisfied with His provision and His blessing. We become ungrateful and forget how He is providing and what He has done in the past.
Our life with Christ is shown more in what we do when we’re bored or where our mind goes when we have nothing else to think about or nothing pressing. A. W. Tozer has said: “Sometimes I go to God and say, “God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth, I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already. God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me.”
Our attitude toward God should be one of continual gratefulness for all that He has done. When we twist it around so that we are complaining about our circumstances, our blessings, or possessions we are really directing these complaints at God.