The children of Israel are now two months and 15 days away from the Egypt on their journey and are now looking for food and apparently not finding any. They are most probably hot, tired and hungry. Perhaps you have felt hot, tired and hungry before? Any one of these feelings can make us feel grumpy, but add the three together and that can turn the best of us into the worst if we are not careful.
As a mom I can tell when my children are hungry or tired. Their needs need met and FAST or they are most likely to start whining or at worst having a major meltdown. The children of Israel was experiencing a meltdown here in our story today and the LORD graciously and loving provided what they needed.
Ever feel hot? Those of us who live in Texas certainly know hot! We long for January when we can have a month or two of cooler temps before the heat begins to rise again. Long, dry, hot summers can leave you feeling grumpy if you let it.
And then there is the feeling of tiredness which I really relate to lately! I told my children last night as we were driving to meet a friend, "I'm tired ..." There are different degrees of tired mind you. There is the physical tiredness that we all feel perhaps in the mid afternoon or late evening when we know it's time to go to bed and recharge (children never seem to get this feeling!). Then there is the tired we get perhaps when we have just grown weary for a season, when we get tired of doing a particular thing, be it a job, a task or simply asking a small child for the 15th time to do something. We all get tired in some form or fashion.
The whole assembly of the Israelites were feeling tired and hungry and they began to grumble (or whine) against Moses and the LORD heard their cries and like any loving parent met their need. I don't see anywhere in the passage where He was angry with the people. He just heard their need and simply met it. He served them quail and manna and a test. What was the test? He would send manna for six days, but on the seventh day they were to rest having collected double on the sixth day.
What is the best thing to do when you are tired? Rest of course. God provided everything they needed. Rest and food for their physical bodies and rest for their minds. They didn't have to think about where to get food on the Sabbath Day, God provided that already. They didn't have to leave their tents to go out and collect it, that was done already too. But there were some who chose not to listen or obey and they went out anyway, but found none.
How often do we refuse to take God's Sabbath seriously and rest our bodies, minds and souls with our Creator? He loves us so much and wants us to be well rested so we can function well on the other six days of the week and He makes daily provisions for us if we will simply look around.
As we continue to journey with the people through the wilderness in Chapter 17 we see they are tested again, but this time with thirst and they cry out to Moses again and again God provides exactly what they need in a way only God could do it, water from the rock.
Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. He provides the manna, or food, that we need. He provides the rest that we need and He provides the water that we need. Through Him all our needs are met. So why is it we go about hot, tired and hungry? Are we truly taking advantage of and properly recognizing His provisions or are we forgetting all He has done for us?
In the last part of this passage the people are challenged to a battle. Once again God comes to their rescue and meets their needs. God uses Moses to intercede for the people in the battle by holding up his arms towards the heavens and praying and the people prevailed. But Moses was not alone, he had Joshua and Aaron lifting up his arms, praying alongside him. The LORD revealed Himself that day as Jehovah-Nissi, the LORD is my Banner.
Friends, God Himself is our banner, our victory and our awesome Provider. It is He who wins our battles and provides for our needs. If you are tired look for His rest.
If you are hungry or thirsty physically or spiritually take time to feed yourself with good nutritious foods. When my children were young and couldn't communicate their needs well yet and they would get hungry they would start scavenging for sugary treats or snacks. When I would find them in the kitchen with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar God gave me the insight and wisdom to know they weren't being bad or naughty, they were hungry and I needed to meet their need with something healthy and nutritious.
Too often when we find ourselves hungry or wanting it is because we are "snacking" either physically or spiritually and not taking the time to sit down and feed ourselves properly.
Lastly, there will always be war; don't be surprised by that, but He is always the winner! There will be days we feel rundown, tired and hungry and like we are losing the battles around us. It may be hard to see the victory at the end, but we must not give in or give up. Call upon Jehovah Nissi as Moses did. Raise your hands up in prayer and call on His Name, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Rapha. Gather godly friends to surround you and help you hold up your hands if you get tired and remember He has already secured your victory. He will not let you go hungry or thirsty physically or spiritually. He does not want us to be tired or weary. All you have to do is go out daily and collect the manna He has laid out for you and on that Sabbath Day when He calls you to rest, rest well and recharge ... that is what I will be doing and I hope you will as well. Be blessed!