Millions of Jews crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Looking behind them, they saw evidence of the salvation of the Lord. Dead bodies of Egyptian horsemen and horses, broken chariots and spears floating in the water.
Their past, and everything they had ever known–gone forever. Their future a mystery. Totally in the hands of the One who would be their God. An eleven-day journey to the promised land turned into 40 years wandering in the wilderness. God got the Jews out of Egypt in one day, but it took Him 40 years to get Egypt out of the Jews.
For us, that’s called a faith journey. It;s our sanctification process. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit begins His sanctifying work in each of us, chipping away at everything about us that does not look like Jesus. For some of us, that’s an agonizing, wilderness journey that can take years. It might take less time if we weren’t so much like the Jews.
What did they do when they became free men, with the promise of land and provisions and the plan of God ahead of them? They griped and moaned. They complained about the lack of food and water, about being nomads, about the desert..
In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2-3.
But God provided all their needs because He was their God and they were now His people. And they were integral to His plan to redeem His people and bring salvation and eternal life to His people. And to you and me.
Think about where you are. Now think about Whose you are. You’re a child of the Living God, with eternity set before you. Next time you feel a complaint coming on, think about those nomads in the desert. God provided everything they needed. Every day. He’ll do the same for us, whether we’re walking through a desert wilderness, the valley of the shadow of death, or basking in His blessings on a mountain top.