Exodus 16:19-20 (CEB)
19Moses said to them, “Don’t keep any of it until morning.” 20But they didn’t listen to Moses. Some kept part of it until morning, but it became infested with worms and stank. Moses got angry with them.
The Israelites had escaped Egypt and were now journeying through the desert. They had no supply of food, but God was making fresh bread fall from the sky each morning. The people had very specific instructions: Go out and gather as much as you need for today, and do not take any more than you need for today. Still, some of them ignored Moses and tried to stockpile a few days’ worth of food. The extra food spoiled and it all made Moses very angry.
Moses wasn’t necessarily angry because the people hadn’t listened to him. And although nobody would have been happy about the smell of rotting food permeating the camp, that’s probably not what had him cranky, either.
Moses was probably most upset because the people demonstrated a huge lack of faith in God. By gathering food that would last for days, they were saying that they knew God intended to abandon them.
Accusing God of a future abandonment is harsh and unfair, especially considering the countless ways in which God has demonstrated love and faithfulness. But before we pass too much judgment on the Israelites, let us consider our own actions.
It’s pretty easy, isn’t it, to feel as though God has left us on our own? When faced with a huge task or in the midst of personal crisis, doesn’t our thought process tend to be: How am I going to get through this? Instead, it should be: I know God is going to get me through this.
One great way to strengthen our faith is to juice up our prayer lives. The more we talk with God, the better we’ll know God. We become even more reassured of God’s constant presence and undying love. If you don’t have a daily quiet time for prayer, make one. If you have one, add a few minutes to it.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.