This is a genuine question for you, and I’ll explain in a minute. Imagine you are an Israelite who has just left Egypt in the glorious exit/escape/eviction. You have a very long journey ahead of you to get back to Canaan. Not only that but you are with a few million others.
You haven’t had time to prepare for this trip and only have a few days worth of food. Looking ahead, there is no food and water on the horizon, but at this point you don’t really consider it. You are just delirious with the reality of escaping the slavery and harshness of Egypt.
But after a few days reality sets in. There is not food and water for millions, none-the-less for you and your family. Have you must drunk the Kool-aid and are now on a mass suicide mission?
Yes, you’ve seen the great miracles of God already. The escape from Egypt, the pillar of fire at night for warmth and the cloud by day for sun protection, the Red Sea opening up and crossing through it. But maybe those were coincidences? And maybe indeed the Lord was with you, but will he be with you for the next huge obstacle? Like water?
When the scorching desert sun starts to wreak havoc on your thirst, and your water is pretty much gone, the leaders of your people complain to Moses. It’s a bitter time as people are going severely thirsty. So Moses prays to the Lord, throws a stick in the water, and the bad water becomes clean. He calls the place “Bitter” because of the bitter complaining.
But now not too long later in the journey comes the severe hunger. Stomachs cramp. Your children cry. Your strength goes weak. So again the leaders complain bitterly to Moses.
Moses seeks the Lord and the Lord says he will send something. It’s the white, flaky stuff that falls on the desert. Moses says the Lord commanded him to tell all the Israelites to gather 2 quarts/liters per person er day.
Having just experienced much hunger and thirst, how would you respond to these instructions. Would you
A) Gather just a little, under the 2 quarts, just getting what you think you need?
B) Gather a little extra just in case?
C) Gather just what you have been told?
Moses then says none of it is to be kept until morning. Mind you, this hasn’t been an easy journey. They weren’t without hunger or thirst before. They got to a desperate point before the provision was made. Knowing that, would you honestly…
A) Eat it all just like you’ve been told?
B) Keep a little in reserve for the future, just in case?
What would you do? Pick which one you most likely would do.
I know what it would be for me. I think I would be the one gathering a little extra and saving some even for future days. Did you pick that one too or was it just me?
The hard truth to swallow in this Scripture is this verse:
“I will rain down break from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions” (Ex 16:4).
Wow. I think would have failed the test. Although if I had personally heard these words first that it was a test, I may have passed. But if I hadn’t and this was just a conversation between Moses and the Lord which I believe it was, I would have hoarded and saved.
This has very real world implications for today. There’s a time to save and store up (Prov 13:22; 27:12; 30:25), there’s a call to be storing up our goods in heaven (Luke 12:13-21; Mt 6:19-20), but most of all, there’s always the time and need to obey God fully, whatever he has spoken to us. Always.
Here’s the real world implication.
- When Corona hit the world, it also hit food supply as meat processing plants have closed and food supply chains hit as people became nervous and more. Even now in the US meat prices have doubled, tripled, and in places quadrupled. In many nations around the world, including very big nations, because of the lock-down many countries will be facing increased food shortages
- When the explosion happened in Beirut, they lost their port and much of their food supply. The world, including the US, thankfully and gratefully is sending food. Thank the Lord that there’s an abundance to send and am glad we do so.
- Then Derecho hit in Iowa and area. That’s basically an inland hurricane and it took 10 million acres of corn out. That’s a huge hit to the food supply chain that will be felt in coming years.
We could go on but the bottom line is that food shortages and other crisis conditions are imminent. Even the state of Washington has started prepping.
If no major other thing happens (which is doubtful), we could be looking at a sharp intake of food prices growing in intensity within the next year. Add to that there will be significant food shortages in the subsequent years from the growing need and increasing lack. It’s not a scare tactic, it’s just the mathematics of compounding crises.
Add to that if any event occurs that is startling, people are jumpy and nervous and may rush the stores for food. Much more so than they did with Corona. I hope and pray that this doesn’t happen at all. But it’s a very real possibility. People are stressed and on edge as unemployment numbers and closing businesses are a reality.
So with that what is the Lord telling you/us/me? He may be telling you to prepare for many hard days ahead. I know of some that are prepping like crazy. I don’t blame them.
He may tell you to prepare on a smaller level. Have a couple weeks or a month’s supply of emergency food and water on hand. It’s wise anyway as a natural disaster is not unprecedented (hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, earthquake, etc…).
Or he may tell you to do nothing, but rather trust Him. That would be a challenge seeing what is on the horizon.
But what is the Lord saying to you? What is he saying to me? And are we willing to obey that and trust Him for the rest?
It’s harder than you think. My tendency is to go into crisis mode when I see the writing on the wall. Because I believe the writing is on the wall and very difficult times are imminent and growing the next couple of years. But do I trust the Lord just with what he has told me to do?
I’ve been challenged in this lately. That’s why the story of the Exodus is resonating so deeply. The Israelites didn’t have time to prepare, but we do. At least for today.
But God gave them direction. Were they going to obey it? Were they going to gather “just a little more” or gather little? Would they follow the instructions of the Lord to them or would they save back a little extra? Would they trust him even though they didn’t see how any provision would be made for the days ahead?
In this case the Lord told an entire nation what to do. In these days and times I think he will tell churches, ministries and individuals what to do. And each thing may be different as per the Lord’s instructions.
But will we obey? Will you obey? Will I obey?
Will we trust Him for the journey?