Fickle is the word that comes to my mind as Exodus 16 begins. God has delivered the people of Israel through a series of miraculous events and how do they thank Him? By complaining.
In Chapter 15 we see Moses and the Israelites singing about the greatness of God proclaiming, “The Lord reigns, for ever and ever.” They were aware that God had provided a way for them, yet, in Chapter 16 they have quickly forgotten all that God had done.
Look at Chapter 16 verses 2 and 3. It says, “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.”’
This grumbling continues in chapter 17 when they’ve stopped to camp at Rephidim and there’s no water to drink. Perhaps it was their thirst and hunger that caused a lapse in memory, but either way, in both instances, the people have forgotten that God is good, and God provided for them in miraculous ways.
I encourage you to read through both chapters on your own to see how God continues to take care of Moses and the Israelites. Also, I challenge you to look inside to see how you (and I) are like the Israelites.
Why, like them, are we so quick to forget all the ways God loves us and provides for us?
I would submit to you that it’s our need to feel like we’re in control. We may not realize it, but when we are trying to be in control, we take our eyes off God and fail to walk by faith.
Let us be a people who continually keep our eyes on God, allow Him to be in control, and walk by faith.