Day 10

God Establishes a Nation through Moses

from the The Life of Moses reading plan


Exodus 15:22-27, Exodus 16:1-36, Exodus 17:1-7, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Psalm 105:40-42

In Psalm 63, David declares:

“O God, you are my God…
My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory” (vv. 1-2).

In many ways, Moses himself might have used such words when facing the grumbling of the people of Israel. As they departed from the defeat of Egypt’s armies at the Red Sea and ventured into the wilderness, they almost immediately fell into hardship. It is tempting to discount their hardships as minor. But being without water in the wilderness is a serious matter.

Yet God had appointed Moses to lead them to this difficult place, this dry and thirsty land, where there was no water.

The sticking point was this: they saw only Moses. They saw him day in and day out, leading them deeper and deeper into difficulty, while water ran low, and meat was scarce, and their children were crying, and all of them were tired. And they tested God, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Ex. 17:7).

Moses, standing beside his brother Aaron, replied, “what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord” (Ex 16:8).

We see a great contrast between Moses’ faithful response and Israel’s faithlessness. Again and again, the people turn to Moses and Aaron, grumbling. Again and again, Moses looks upon the sanctuary, interceding on Israel’s behalf. And again and again, God patiently provides. He turns bitter water sweet (Ex 15:25), leads them to a place of rich springs (Ex 15:27), rains bread from heaven and meat from the skies (Ex16:12-14), and even provides water from a rock (Ex. 17:6).

“Now these things took place as examples for us that we might not desire evil as [Israel] did” (I Cor. 10:6).

Did Israel desire evil? Didn’t they just want water? Indeed, they did desire water. They needed it. But they failed to look to God in His sanctuary, and instead, grumbled over their circumstances.

How like Israel we are? We need to hear the words of Moses, asking us, “why do you test the Lord” (Ex 17:2)? God often leads us into the wilderness to test us. He often guides us through the influence of others, who speak His words. But no matter how dire the need, or how weary we are in our wilderness, we are always called to look to the sanctuary of God, for Christ is “the bread that the Lord has given us to eat” (Ex. 16:15).

Paul reminds us that we are just like Israel, for they “all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:3-4).

Like them, despite our abundant wealth in Christ, we still tend to grumble. These examples remind us that we can never depend upon our own righteousness or faithfulness. “Therefore,” says Paul, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (I Cor 10:12).

May we heed these examples, turn our eyes toward the sanctuary, and fix our hope upon Christ our Rock. And as we turn to Him for all our needs, we can also rejoice that in Christ we rest secure, no matter how daunting the wilderness, “for He remember[s] His holy promise” (Ps. 105:42).

Written By Caleb Faires

Post Comments (11)

11 thoughts on "God Establishes a Nation through Moses"

  1. Jesse Weaver says:

    Time and time again I am tempted to grumble against God about my circumstances, to blindly look around at all he has blessed me with and blame him for my circumstances, whatever they may be. But just like the Israelites, God will Continue to provide for me as he did for them, and for this I am grateful.

  2. Jesse Weaver says:

    Man is known to doubt, and whenever we think we are self sufficient…we will fail. We want to be proud of ourselves for being in a good position, but cry out to God when things aren’t going our way. Whether we are in good or bad circumstances, we must always look to God for we cannot rely on our strength.

  3. Jesse Weaver says:

    I will respond by keeping this passage in mind as I travel to work. My commute has been exhausting, but it has been taking me to a great job that I am very thankful for and so I cannot be upset about that. I will also continue to realize how blessed I am in my life and that all glory goes to God and not my abilities, for he gave me all that I have.

  4. Jesse Weaver says:

    The Gospel is a great reminder of how years ago, people treated God the same way we do today. It is a great reminder that all through history, people are flawed and have been prone to frustrations about life, even when God has provided so much for them.

  5. Jesse Weaver says:

    I will pray for patience, for wisdom that in all circumstances I will look to God as my refuge. And ask that God continually be with me, that I may remember he is always there and he is the receiver of all my praise, love, and adoration.

  6. Mark McNeff says:

    He is faithful to provide even while our hearts are full of distrust, bitterness, and lacking in faith. God heard the cries of Moses and Aaron and provided all the Israelites needed day to day.

    “Give us this day our manna,
    And let not our hearts test our quarrel with you or one another”

  7. Scott Schulman says:

    The Gospel reminds us to look to the same God who has done so much good in the past and to remember that he is the same God who will continue to do so much good in the future.

  8. Scott Schulman says:

    God is so patient with his people and always does what’s best for us.

  9. Scott Schulman says:

    Choose to remember that God will take care of me when I don’t know how he’s going to do it.

  10. Scott Schulman says:

    We so easily get distracted from the greatness and the goodness of God when life is hard. We forget so quickly.

  11. Scott Schulman says:

    Thank you, Lord, for always being good to me when I am so unfaithful to you. Please help me to remember your goodness in the midst of trials.

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