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. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. (Exodus 16:1-2)
One month into the journey and only days after leaving Elim, the children of Israel began to complain even more than before. Of course, we understand that it must have been a very difficult journey. Yet, these people had seen miracle after miracle — being spared at Passover, escaping through the sea, not to mention the pillar of fire and cloud that led them. Most of us have never seen anything even close to what they had seen and still they complained. Nevertheless, Paul warned us that we must not repeat the mistakes made by that generation.
“We must not put Messiah to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:9-11)
Pay special attention to the fact that complaining is what opened the door to the Destroyer. Also, keep in mind this was the same Destroyer who had to pass by the houses in Goshen which was protected by the blood of the lamb at Passover. Then, they had placed their trust in Him to deliver them from the Destroyer but, in the wilderness, that trust was subject to the particular circumstance. Hunger pushed them to the point of wishing to have died at God’s hand in Egypt as opposed, so they insinuated, by His hand in the wilderness.
Here is the point we want to stress today: they believed God to save them from Egypt but didn’t believe He could complete what He had started. They concluded that God had saved them only to destroy them. As illogical as that is, it is consistent with our way of thinking at times. We trust Him to save us from our sins but struggle to trust Him for everything else. Thus Paul’s warning is relevant today as much as it ever was — don’t make the same mistakes they made. Don’t give in to complaining and grumbling when things get difficult. Believe that the One who snatched you from the Adversary is well able — and willing — to bring you into the fulness of His will. Let us resolve then to have the confidence that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Blessings and Shalom,