Exodus 16:7b “….but what are we that you should complain against us?”
Observation: Shortly after their miraculous Red Sea crossing the Israelites accused Moses and Aaron of bringing them to the desert to “kill the whole assembly with hunger” (Ex. 6:3). Moses rightly understood that their complaints were not really against him and Aaron, but against God Himself. In verse 8 he is even more direct: “Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”
Application: That is the last thing I want to hear! With the country imploding from the effects of national leadership too often profligate and self-serving, I long to gain new high ground over them. “Just wait ‘til the next election”, I might think. But when I reflect honestly, I realize that in God’s grand design we apparently have the leadership He intended. After all, is He not sovereign?
Or when a church is rocked by scandal, or subterfuge causes a business to crash…when stresses take a marriage to the brink or gossip destroys a reputation…where do I go for redress? Against whom do my complaints lodge?
Are the offending parties really flesh and blood…corrupt politicians, philandering spouses, scheming business associates or pastors who have the same feet of clay as I?
No, not really. Ultimately my kicking against these and so many other goads of life is as Moses said: “against the Lord.” It was God, not Moses, who led Israel to entrapment between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. It was God, not Moses, who led them into the wilderness where supermarkets were few and far between. And it is God, not my flesh-and-blood nemesis, who has me in a place of having to choose whether I shall rely upon my own poor wits for deliverance, or upon Him.
Jesus, who is to be my model, faced the greatest injustice in history, yet Peter says in 1 Peter 2:23 that “….He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”
How then shall I live? When mired in injustice shall I strike out? When lied about, shall I deal in deceit or form bitter judgments? When I am reviled shall I revile in return? No. I must do as He did: entrust myself to Him who judges righteously.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You never struck out against those who struck You. You never sought revenge, nor dealt defensively toward those heaping condemnation upon You. Help me to live as You modeled, leading always with love.