Christians are such forgetful followers yet our God is such a patient and loving God!

It was evident when the Israelites and Moses wandered in the wilderness together, but the pattern is still seen today. Different circumstances. Different outcomes. Same pattern of forgetfulness. 

The Israelites were held captive for far too long when God tapped the shoulder of Moses, the most unwilling leader imaginable. It was a divine calling, but Moses was sure God had the wrong man for the job. Not me, he must have said to himself. Actually, he said something similar to God, but to no avail.

God persisted. Moses resisted, but finally realized his refusal wasn’t going to be the final answer. God always wins, so it’s best to accept our calling no matter how unreasonable it seems at the time.

Convincing Pharoah to let the Israelites go took a plethora of plagues but God won. He provided a few minor miracles and the Israelites walked away from Egypt – it was easier than Moses imagined.

Very soon the Egyptians regretted pardoning their cheap labor force, so an army of men, horses, and chariots were in hot pursuit. The Israelites were celebrating fresh freedom and the Red Sea was in sight. They wanted no part of returning to captivity. Fear gripped their souls and that’s where the pattern begins; in the midst of chaos, confusion, and conflict. When life got sucky!

Freedom was in jeopardy and the Israelites panicked, whined, and trash-talked their leader. They were crabby. Moses didn’t want the job in the first place so their negativity must’ve exasperated this timid leader. A frazzled Moses was inundated with a rowdy bunch of followers. He was stressed.

Life got sucky, people got crabby, and Moses got stressed. He knew his limitations but he also knew God, so Moses cried out to Him. Moses prayed and that’s where the pattern continues.

God spoke. Moses obeyed. The people doubted. A miracle happened. The Red Sea parted giving the Israelites an escape route, then crushing waters returned to swallow up the Egyptians. They were miraculously annihilated!

The Israelites celebrated. Life was good again – until the next time.

The same pattern is seen as the Israelites continue wandering toward the Promised Land. Their supply of water runs out. Perhaps it was an ancient supply chain issue?

Life got sucky and people got crabby. Again. Moses got stressed and cried out to God. God spoke. Moses did what he was told even though he was surrounded by doubting followers. And, God provided. Again. The miracle this time was bitter water made sweet just in time for a thirsty crowd. And life was good.

But the wandering followers got hungry and the crabby crowd complained to a weary leader again. Moses turned to God for help that came in the form of manna from Heaven.

Slow learners, these people! They should have known God would take care of them and He did. Exodus 16:35 says God provided manna for forty years. Later, in chapter 17, God suggests they keep a jar of the manna or at least record what happened so future generations would know God provides. We forget so easily, but He knows us well, doesn’t He?

Sure enough, the next time life got tough for the Israelites they got grumpy and Moses was once again on the hot seat. The crowd was thirsty. Moses prayed. God spoke. Moses obeyed. And God provided. Voila! Water for a thirsty band of wanderers after Moses simply hit a rock with his staff. Life was good.

God proved Himself faithful over and over. Even today when God’s people are inundated by chaos, confusion, and conflict, we forget. Stress reigns. Like the Israelites, we grumble and complain to whoever will listen. We doubt His ability to fix whatever needs fixing when – in reality – our own miracle is only a prayer away.

Father, forgive me for being such a forgetful follower. Squelch my crabbiness. Calm my stress. Teach me. Remind me of your faithfulness. Speak and I will listen for I know you have plans for me and I trust you to provide whatever I need when I need it. Amen.

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