This text is one of the high points in this book. From Genesis 3, we’ve been moving through the story of redemption. In Exo 19, now God’s people have been delivered from slavery and have gathered, organized themselves, and even fought off enemies. They are now at the foot of an important mountain, first referred to in Exo 3. Moses has been to this mountain before. Moses will remember how 40 years ago he saw fire on this mountain, and met God. He heard the voice of God and God’s command to set God’s people free. The sign given to Moses was that he will return and worship God here. Exo 19 is a fulfilment of this promise.
How do we describe God? We often think of adjectives like holy, perfect, creator, omniscient, powerful. But have we ever thought about God as a covenantal God? Have we ever thought about God as a husband? This passage covers perhaps one of the most important parts of the Old Testament- the Mosaic covenant.
God’s people are being forced to think about practical problems that comes with being a nation not just in the form of providing for sustenance, but also dealing with the problem of their hearts. A young nation also has to deal with warring nations (last week). In Exo 18, their evolution from a ragtag group of refugees to a travelling band of migrants, they’ll have to deal with leadership issues.
As cheesy Tumblr pages dutifully inform us: “We all have our battles to fight.”
But what are you fighting for? As you toggle between the different roles you play and stages you run through, the question is the same - who are you fighting, and what are you fighting for?
In Exo 16, God has just provided for them through the daily bread, and in the previous chapters, the people have been grumbling not once, but twice. Once with water, and another time for food. They disobeyed God in their food gathering, but God still continued to provide for them. They are experiencing daily miracles. In this passage, we will read of an Israel that still continue to doubt God and testing Him with the question “God, will you provide for our needs?”
Throughout Exodus, we’ve seen how God’s goal for Israel is to see His glory. God’s primary goal for us is to know Him and to be His people. The goal is not just to be saved. Saving us is a means to an ends – to be His. John 17:3 tells us that eternal life is that the people know Him as the only true God. God saved His people from Egypt not just to free them, but so that they may know who He is. As we continue reading about the people of God after the Exodus, we’ll read of how God makes Himself known to His people.
Do you often find yourself being discontent? Our heavy use of social media does not help this. Instagram has just been named as the worst social media for the mental health of young people: it is heavily associated with high levels of anxiety and depression. How does God provide for his people amidst their discontentment? What does God have to tell you when you see others around you getting a work promotion, starting a family, earning more qualifications, driving bigger cars, and moving into even bigger houses? In today’s passage, God teaches his people, the Israelites, a lesson on who he is, and why that matters for their contentment.
God leads his people through many seasons in life, sometimes to difficult times and circumstances, and others in times of joy and abundance. Here, God teaches his people to depend on him as their healer, as the one who makes them whole. Are you ready to follow the LORD through all times? Are you ready to be transformed by God to become more like Jesus?
Today’s passage looks at how God deals with a people whom he has just saved, and their complaining. Read on to find out more!