I have looked at the story of the Israelites in the bible and thought, “Wow, how could they complain when God delivered them from the Egyptians?” Maybe you have thought the same. How could they complain? God was on their side. I am going to share why I now understand their complaint problem.
First, to better understand the Israelite problem and my similarities, I’ll have to update you on their problem. You see, the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians. They worked hard and were treated badly at times, but they did get food and had a place to live.
This is why they had 10 plagues in Egypt. God and Moses were working hard to get them out to a Promised Land of their own, but Pharaoh got in the way and he had a hardened heart toward God.
The Israelites finally got away and the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea. They were finally on their way to the Promised Land but soon the Israelites began to complain.
”In the desert, the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “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 16:2-3
Their grumbling was heard and God gave them Manna every day. Then the Israelites got bored with Manna and complained again. So, God gave them quail to eat.
“We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:5-6
As you see, they had a complaint problem. They were not satisfied with the provisions God gave them for the time. He told them they would have a promised land.
They kept looking back and couldn’t see the future. Whenever we remember something, we mostly remember the good. Not all the time, but if it was bad it doesn’t seem as bad in hindsight.
They were so hungry for the Egyptian foods they couldn’t think about how God was caring for them each moment as they awaited the wonderful Promised Land. They couldn’t be thankful for the blessings they were receiving at the moment from God. It wasn’t perfect or God’s final plan but the manna and quail were temporary blessings.
My similarities? One day as we were driving around in a city and looking at houses, and house prices, I thought to myself… I am no better than the Israelites. Here I am becoming saddened because when you sell your house in the Midwest and move to most places in the USA, your money doesn’t buy as much of a house.
We knew we would downsize, but downsize and downgrade are two different things in my book. I kept looking at the houses I saw and thought, “I won’t be living in that.” That’s when I thought, “I am no better than the Israelites.”
Here I am complaining in my head to God about a possible housing crisis I created in my mind. I would look at houses as we would drive by and tear up knowing I could never live like that. “What had I done? Why did I sell my house?”, I thought.
You see I don’t know where God wants me to live and I don’t know what kind of house he wants me to buy or even if we are to buy a house. There are so many questions, in the end, I don’t have an answer for.
I do know that God will provide a place for us to live, just as he has given us places to stay as we have been on this traveling sabbatical.
God Takes Care
I have said along the way that we are like the birds that God cares for. God will take care of us day by day. So why won’t he take care of us when this journey is over? He knows where he wants us to live and has the perfect place for us to move to and a home for us.
I silently said, “God forgive me for doubting you and complaining. I don’t want to be like the Israelites. I want to be thankful for the now, because God, you have my Future!”
How have you found yourself complaining while waiting for God’s Best for you? Comment below.
If you don’t want to miss a