It is so easy to read about the ungratefulness of others, as in our Scripture today, but hard to understand their ungratefulness especially when they have been the recipients of daily blessings from God. In our story of the Israelites as they traveled through the Wilderness under the watchful eye and protective hand of the Master, from a land of slavery to a land of freedom and countless provisions, they showed anything but thankfulness and appreciation. But have we really learned anything from this story? Are we in constant awe and full of appreciation for what God does for us? Let’s stop to ponder that for a few minutes today.
DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-05-31
WRITTEN AT: Lake Wales, FL
BY: Ed Algreen
SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 14:21-23
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 21 But I tell you the truth. As surely as I live and as surely as the Glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, I make you this promise: 22 None of the people I led out of Egypt will ever see the land of Canaan. They saw my glory and the great signs that I did in Egypt and in the desert. But they disobeyed me and tested me ten times. 23 I promised their ancestors that I would give them that land. But none of those people who turned against me will ever enter that land!
APPLICATION: It is so easy to read about the rescue of the Israelites from slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, and to see the miraculous works of God as He led them through years and years of travel through the wilderness. There He saved them from slaughter by approaching armys; provided food for over 1,000,000 people; gave direction and protection to them as they traveled, made a way for them when there appeared like they were doomed for destruction by Pharaoh’s fiercest men, while all the while holding a token out in front of them at their ultimate destination – a land flowing with milk and honey. Isn’t it extremely upsetting to think of them grumbling in the midst of all the awesome things that surrounds this story? Isn’t it awful to think of the Israelites choosing to worship a false god who could never have helped them, even if he tried? Isn’t it good to know that we are so much better at that than they were? BUT wait, are we?? I tried to place a positive spin on the title of today’s devotion, instead of what I was really feeling like God might say to us at times today – can’t you imagine God saying to us: ‘Just quit the griping and complaining’? Just in case you are blinded to really see how little we have changed, let me suggest that not a whole lot has changed. Friends, using the backdrop of the awful complaints by the Israelites, in response to all the awesome provisions and blessings God was showering on them every day, I want us to look inward and turn our eyes to our own lives and our challenges that we deal with each day. From the time that we awaken each day, from our comfortable beds, in super cool air-conditioning, we may start by complaining that it’s so warm outside, and furthermore I have to get off to work. Let’s stop right there for a moment and remind ourselves that many have no choice but to endure that warm/hot air 24 hours per day without the convenience of air conditioning; Some are currently out of their homes because of flooding, tornadoes or simply due to financial problems, and many of these may not be able to return to their homes. So do we truly have room to complain, or do we have something to be very thankful for? Of course our complaining continues into the choice of food we have for breakfast, or the broken down vehicle that we drive to work, or the time of day that we have to report to work. While many others could only wish that they had each of the above. Yesterday many may have chosen alternate gods to worship, just like the Israelites, instead of assembling ourselves together with other believers in thankful praise to our Creator, Provider and King of all kings. Friends, may I suggest to you that we should learn from the Israelites to appreciate all that God provides for us each and every day. Yes, our greed and our selfish desires always tend to want something different and superior to what we have, but as we look into the eyes of our Master, isn’t there unlimited reasons to praise Him instead? Thank You, thank you, thank You Lord for Your mercies and Your kindness to me – Your humble servant. Who am I to deserve such grace, and such love from such an awesome God? Please forgive my readers and I for our ungratefulness Lord. Please help us to always look at all You endured so that we might have eternal life, and a home in glory with You. Your love for us, and Your daily gifts to us are beyond anything we could measure, so may we always find room in our hearts to praise You and rejoice in all Your tender mercies, for You alone are God!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: We have so many reasons to sing praises to our Lord and King, that it may be challenging to carve out sufficient time to do us. Our priority should lead us to the foot of the cross to meet with our Savior at least daily.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, You are so good! We are such a needy people and we cannot do this thing called ‘life’ here on this earth without You. There are so many things that we take for granted, but that we know you have provided for our good. Thank You Lord for Your mercies on us. Mercies that endure day after day! We really have no room to complain, for Your goodness deserves our praise and our daily echo of thanksgiving. We worship You oh Lord, and we long to see You face-to-face in heaven one day. Until that time, please give us grateful hearts that will express your praise at every opportunity. AMEN!