Manna and Whine
Today we look at the message from Sunday the 20th of September's live service. We are reading from Exodus 16:2-15
Let's take a look at the message:
The Israelites, a vulnerable people at that time, were quick to forget God’s promises during their time in the wilderness. This caused them to focus on everything they did not have – which resulted in constant complaining. In fact the word "Complain" is used 7 times in this passage. If we look at where the Israelites were geographically, they were literally at the furthest point from the Promised land. They had reason to complain!
But looking at this scripture we see that God used this opportunity to create a relationship between him and his people. Before leading them from Egypt they were slaves and to put it mildly they were the supporting characters in other people's stories. Here God chooses them as main characters, but there is a lot of defining to be done in their new roles. In the desert, they are crucially dependent on God and His providence. They were witness to His Glorious works when he saved them from Egypt, but what did it mean for God to be in the smaller moments? Would He even care about what they had to eat? So they complained and voiced their fears, blaming Aaron and Moses for leading them into this unknown.
Then God steps in. We kind of expect a backlash, but no, God does the unexpected he meets them in their reality. He gives them a promise of providence in the midst of the desert. Not only would he provide for them, he would lead them, he would be there. By day He would lead them with the pillar of smoke and by night he would lead them with a pillar of fire; by day he would provide them with bread, and by night he would provide them with meat.
He constantly reminded them that he was there and that all they needed to do was look up towards Him, and not to get lost in their troubles; to lean on God’s guidance and not their own; to trust in Him and not in themselves.
LET'S GET INTO IT
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question. - Eugene Ionesco
What is the purpose of complaining?
What are the things that make you stop trusting God, and rather take matters into your own hands?
Do you trust God with everything? Or are there things, or people, or circumstances in your life that you prefer to keep in your own hands?
It is easy to proclaim that we trust God with everything, but when the ‘pawpaw’ hits the fan, is that really what you do?
Sometimes we as Christians paint a perfect picture over our trials and end up suffering in silence, in this story we see that voicing our concerns is important to God. What do you need to voice today?
God tests the Isrealites and requires them to practice a certain discipline, to experience his providence, what daily habits/rythms can you establish to enable you to do the same?
WORD INTO ACTION
What is the next step
First we need to create spaces where we can be authentic in our journey, a space where we can be there for one another.
Where we can voice our trials, without losing ourselves in self-pity.
To do this we need to practice discipline, this creates spaces to see God's daily providence. Through His daily providence an assurance is nurtured that even in the trials, he provides.
Are there spaces that already enables this type of fellowship? Or do you need to create them? What do they look like?
Do you have set practices within which you can become aware of God's daily providence? or do you need to establish new practices? What are they?
Maybe read these three texts again and write down what stood out for you:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
That's all for this week
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