As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God tested them to see if they would lay down their desires and obey him. Once they learned to trust God, their pride was replaced with humility.
At the moment we believe in our ability more than God’s ability, pride can prevent us from trusting God through our wilderness journeys as well.
God laid out the rules for gathering the manna he provided. Gather only enough for the day’s needs every morning. Gather more than that, you’ll end up with a basketful of moldy maggot-filled manna.
The Israelites had to trust God would keep his word and provide for their daily needs. Their provision was not dependent on how hard they worked, or how efficiently they gathered and stored the manna. It had nothing to do with them other than obedience and trust.
If the Israelites wouldn’t trust God in the simple act of gathering manna each morning, it was doubtful they would trust God to deliver them from the wilderness to the land of Canaan. Their refusal to believe Joshua and Caleb’s report after the two men spied on the land proved that point. (Numbers 13 & 14)
The Israelites grumbled and complained about the manna. They wanted to go back to Egypt where they could eat the foods they were accustomed to. Even if that meant a return to slavery.
God tested the Israelites to see what was in their hearts. He tested them to prepare them for the greater things he planned. He tested them to move them from a place of pride in their own accomplishments to humble trust in his sovereignty.
God had big plans in store for the Israelites. Plans which included bringing his Son into this world as a sacrifice for our sins. Manna in the wilderness was a starting point of obedience to prepare the Israelites to trust God with bigger things.
God tests us in similar ways. He wants to see what is in our hearts. He wants to see if we will lay down our pride and humbly trust him. He wants to see how well we trust him with the small things, before moving us to a place of bigger possibilities.
Is there a wilderness area God is asking you to trust him in?
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Do you remember how the Lord led you through the wilderness for all those forty years, humbling you and testing you to find out how you would respond, and whether or not you would really obey him? Deuteronomy 8:2 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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