Ever since they multiplied and became a nation while on Egyptian shores, the Israelites were always a fickle group of people.
Barely a month after praising and glorifying God following their exodus from Egypt, they arrived at the Desert of Sin.
There, they lamented the unavailability of food, and began to regret their exodus from Egypt, the house of bondage. They began to grumble and murmur (Exodus 15:22-16:7).
But a people who had witnessed Yahweh’s unimaginable miracles in Egypt didn’t need to murmur to get His attention. They had seen enough to be assured and confident in Him. They had seen enough to have learnt to pray in faith.
Alas, they had problems trusting Him.
They found it hard to do so. The way they grumbled their need for food to Moses showed they had no trust in God’s ability to provide for them.
Nevertheless, God showed up in an unthinkable way, flaking down the food of angels to them (Psalms 78:25). And you’ll think that would drain every iota of faithlessness in them.
God instructed that they should gather enough manna only for each day but on the sixth day, gather twice as much because there would be none on the seventh day (Exodus 16:26,29).
This in itself was a test of trust and faith.
They were to gather only for one day, trusting that He, who provided for that day, would also provide for the next day. And when He wanted them to rest on the seventh day, He’d provide enough for them to gather twice as much the day before.
But their lack of faith and trust reared its head up again.
They couldn’t trust enough to obey.
Some gathered more than they needed a day, only to find maggots feasting on them the following morning. This wasn’t still enough to make them see their folly. Some still went out on the seventh day hoping to find manna! (Exodus 16:27).
How do you explain that, having being told by a benefactor that miraculous food will be available daily, you still go ahead to fetch more than necessary? How weird is it to go wait for goods when the supplier has announced he won’t be showing up?
Such was the height of faithlessness in a God who had defied all odds to make food available.
Their disobedience stemmed from utter distrust.
And that displeases God a lot. That’s because it insults His person, His magnificent ability and His capacity to keep to His word.
Trust and obedience are great virtues that matter to Him. It breaks his heart to see his children disobey Him simply because they do not have enough confidence in Him.
If He has done it before, He can and will do even more again. That should be our confidence.
If He has said it, He is able to fulfil it. That should give us joy and keep us going.
In their hymn, Trust and Obey, John Sammis and Daniel Towner reckoned that there is no other way to be happy in the Lord, but to trust and obey.
Nothing can be truer.
Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian Christian minister, writer and speaker. He writes on Faith, Personal Development, Youth Development, and Life Realities. With his words, he seeks to inspire, motivate, propagate life’s truths and represent a sincere Christian voice. Learn more about Ogaga here.