To gain the Promised Land, the Israelites had to leave everything behind that was familiar to them. But boy did they know how to grumble! Let's look today at how they--and we--responded to God's blessings.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson . I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show. Hello, everybody. Welcome to podcast 18: "What's your manna?" I want to talk today a little bit about the Israelites and their journey to the promised land. They had gone to Egypt and become enslaved by the Egyptians there, and life got pretty tough for them in Egypt and they cried out and God heard them and rescued them out of slavery. That's a whole story for another time. But what I want to focus on today is the journey after they left Egypt. They were promised the opportunity to go back to their former homeland , to the promised land. And in order to gain the promised land, however, the Israelites had to give up their homes. Now, granted, they were slave homes. Um, but in order to make a change that radical, they had to give up so much. They, they gave up going to farmer's market, which they remembered later when they got hungry for onions and leeks. They had to give up their old lives, which they hated granted. They were slaves! But they had to walk away from everything that they knew in order to enter God's promise. Now, at first they were ecstatic. Moses came, the plagues came, Pharaoh finally agreed to let them go. "We're free, we're free! No more slave masters!" How cool is that? But then after they left Egypt, they began to find out that being free can be hard work. Pharaoh changed his mind. He came after them. They ran to the Red Sea. They reached the shore--and they turned on Moses. "You brought us here to die!" But God saved them again. He parted the Red Sea. He rescued them. But these new free men had more trials ahead of them still. Among these, they ran out of water and they turned on Moses. "You brought us here to die!" And God provided water for them. And then they ran out of food and they turned on Moses again. "You brought us here to die," they yelled again. And God sent them food. He sent them manna. Time and again, God provided for their needs. But for the most part, the Israelites that came out of Egypt remained a bitter, grumbling, unfaithful lot, so much so that God became angry. He determined that only their children would enter the promised land. And with only a couple of exceptions, the vast majority of those who fled Egypt did die in the wilderness. Their descendants who had never known the whip of the slave master became the heirs to the promise. So often I've heard this story and I've thought, "What an ungrateful lot. If manna was falling from heaven and I was hungry, and I'm getting food from the hand of God, I would never complain." Right? True confessions. In the last couple of days, God has challenged me to think a little bit more figuratively. What needs have I had that he has met--sometimes with me even having not asked? Did I ever go hungry? No. Did I, do I have a roof over my head? Yes. Am I alone in this world? Not really. I'm surrounded by friends and family who care the world about me. Sometimes it can be so tempting to look at what we don't have. And if we're not careful, that can become our main focus. And then just like the grumbling Israelites, we miss the beauty of the blessing when it arrives. Or worse, we become unthankful and we begin to slander the blessing. At one point, the Israelites grew tired of the manna. God sent them the food of angels and all they could say was, "Oh dear God, not manna again. If I have to eat one more bite, I think I'll die." And you know what? They had to pay a price for that attitude. God reached the end of his patience and many of them did die. So I challenge you today to look carefully at your life. This is what I've been doing. Has God dropped some manna in your life that you've overlooked? How has he saved you from harm and blessed you? And what has been your response to that? Did you say thank you? Or did you grumble because God didn't meet your need the way you wanted him to? I think that's something that I'm guilty of from time to time. I have a problem. I know just how God needs to fix this. And I pray for a specific answer, but maybe that's not his answer. Maybe that's not his perfect will for my life. Maybe, just maybe he has a better idea of how to solve the problem than I do. Now there's a thought. These are the questions I've been asking myself. And I admit I'm not always happy with my own answers. I, I think I can do better. I think we can do better. Let's do better. Psalm 36:7 says, "How precious is your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings." Remember my friends, God is our protector. Nestle yourself under the shadow of his wings and look for the blessings. What can you be thankful for? There's a quote that I found, a woman named Bernadette Devlin. And she said, "To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else." Ouch. You may have lost something very precious to you, but what have you gained? What can you be thankful for today? If you look really hard, I'm sure you'll find something. That's all I have for today, guys. Be thankful. God is on the throne and he is in control. Look for those blessings. Until next time, love you guys. Talk to you later. Bye.