Bread from Heaven
16 And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
The children of Israel complained against the Egyptians, then they grew angry with G-d, then they grew angry with Moses and his family, then Moses’ family grew angry at Moses along with the rest of Israel.
They would not be satisfied because they would not submit, and we’re like that with the G-d we pray to, claim to love, say we worship, and vow to glorify. While our intentions are good, and we fulfill the vows as long as we see a manifestation of our prayers and the fulfilling of our desires, what happens when we don’t see them?
Did G-d not send them a deliverer? Did G-d not afflict their enemies? Did G-d not have them take wealth from the land that enslaved them? Did He not provide for them in the wilderness instead of leaving them to die because of their cowardice in the face of His promise to deliver them a land He provided for them, when they had to expend some effort to attain the blessing with a guarantee of victory?
Remember too, their cowardice in sending Moses to the mountain to speak with Him alone instead of gathering in His presence.
If we are the flock, and sin is the wilderness, let us be mindful that when we wander from the Savior that the Father sent us, we are as prone to murmuring and attack as any of the grumbling Israelites.
Recall that they watched Dathan and his cronies and their families fall into the earth, and Miriam plagued and put outside the camp, yet they didn’t stop complaining to the point where Moses asked G-d to kill him rather than continue to lead them and fail. (Numbers 11:15)
Then they tested G-d to the point where Moses then had to intercede to keep the tribes from destruction. (Deuteronomy 9:13-14)
They left the manna and hoarded the quails, not listening to either Moses or G-d.
One could ask, and some have: If G-d is omnipotent, why do we need to expend any effort in purifying ourselves and re-establishing fellowship? Is it not the Father’s role to come to the children?
But He has, in the sending of His Son, Jesus. And as we are the ones who’ve sinned because of our rebellious hearts, it is we who must expend the effort to be reconciled.
He’s even made that easy for us, in that all we have to do is believe and obey what Jesus told us. Through faith in Him, there is no covering, no sacrifice, no ritual as with the pagans. There is confession, repentance, faith, prayer, obedience, and carrying out the commission to go and make disciples of all nations, not just the ones that look like you.
The choice to serve is ours. So are the blessings, and so are the consequences.
Our Father’s plan to reconcile, redeem, and restore us to rest in His kingdom, in the presence of His eternal glory under the scepter of His holy Son, has been given to us, as is the guarantee of our own victory over Satan if we believe with no sensory proof as the pagans seek.
It will not cost us nothing, as when David bought the farmer’s threshing floor despite the man offering it freely to his king. Indeed, it may cost us our very lives. But He gave His for us, in the face of our rebellion and unbelief.
What can we offer Him that He needs? What vow can we make that we won’t break? What acts can we do without expectation of reward? What territories can we enlarge and not cause harm?
We are not called to only hear, but do, His will on earth, as it is in Heaven. If He tells us to do it, that means it can and should be done, because He also tells us that all things are possible with G-d.
Are we doing it? Will we?
Therefore I pray:
Father in Heaven,
There are days I seek the wilderness, but not to isolate myself to pray and meditate on Your holy Word, but to the wilderness of sin to indulge my flesh in its backsliding, tuning out the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit saying, ‘Do not commit this sin. It is rebellious in the Lord’s sight, and your confessions and repentance have now been rendered lawlessness, for which the Son will cast you out,, and the Father utterly destroy you, as if you never were, cut off without remedy.’
The covenant of grace is not a license to sin, and the atonement of Christ’s blood is not to be taken for granted. One may still die in their sin, and be purged at the harvest, for we are reminded that not everyone who says ‘Lord’ will enter. (Matthew 7:21)
It is indeed a foolish sheep who seeks to leave its Shepherd and walk alone in the dark, with no light of Heaven to guide it, walking in the territory of the wolf and serpent.
Call to us once more, Lord Jesus, and receive our wretched presence into Your flock so the enemy does not snatch us from Your mighty hand.
Quench in me the desire to wander, to go astray, to lead astray, and be a danger to myself and my immortal soul.
Let me return to You from the wilderness of sin.
Seal Your Word to my spirit, now and forever.