A Table in the Wilderness

Psalms 78: 12 Marvelous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Isn’t it typical of humans?  God does so much for us and we still don’t do the right thing.  He has provided a lot of mercy to all of us.  This is a guide and a caution for people of all the ages.  We’re pretty much the last generation before the Lord comes.  We’re seeing things happen.  We should learn from this.  Let’s go back to Exodus 16 and see the details of when Israel was in the wilderness.

They were in the wilderness of Sin, or Zin.  It was hot and dry with very little water.  They crossed the Red Sea with victory over Pharaoh.  They had their flocks with them.  At that time they sewed skins together to make tanks of sorts to hold their water.  With so many people and animals soon the water ran out.  They had been out there about 2 ½ months.  They thought their journey to the Promised Land would be shorter.  It was rougher than they counted on.

I’d like to shout every day as everything falls into place; however, the devil is always there. He’s up before the roosters and we can’t predict what he’ll throw our way.  God could have put a chariot pulled by angels and transported them to the Promised Land but it was his will for them to journey through the wilderness into different countries and climates.  They would experience many environments to teach them to depend on God and not themselves.  During the day a pillar of cloud guided them offering some shade from the desert sun.  The devil turns up the heat on us now and then but God sends a cloud when we need it.

Deserts get cold at night.  What did God do?  He provided a light of fire at night.  It lit the way so the enemy wouldn’t try to sneak in.  God has a pillar of fire about us to protect us.  The people of Israel probably still got a little warm and a little cool but it was a lot better because of the pillars of cloud and fire.

The people started murmuring.  That’s what we do if things to a little awry.  God told Moses to go to Horeb and smite the rock.  He wanted to show what he could do by bringing water from a solid rock.  If he can do that, he can provide for us.

The people were hungry.  They had run out of the food brought from Egypt.  They complained and wondered what to do.  God instructed Moses in Exodus 16. Every night while they were in bed God sent food from heaven.  He called it manna.  Each day they gathered only what they needed for that day or it would stink.  Yesterday’s blessings are yesterday’s.  Don’t feed off memories of how it used to be.  The past blessings got us here but we need to seek the Lord every day.  David tells us to seek him early.

Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?  Absolutely!  God gave them the same food every night under the soft light of the pillar of fire.  While we sleep God is sending the manna our way.  In John chapter 6 the disciples reminded Jesus about the manna saying our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Jesus told them that Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  Of that wilderness food David said man did eat angels’ food.  Does that mean angels eat manna?  One day we’ll know.  It makes me think that we’ll eat angel’s food someday.

Don’t get to the point that you don’t remember that God takes care of us.  He went to a lot of trouble to take care of Israel despite their murmurings.  In all those years the manna didn’t fail.  They camped at Gilgal getting ready to head into the Promised Land.  They prayed and dedicated themselves to the Lord.  The manna ceased.  God then supplied them corn from the field to eat.  He’ll never fail to set the table and prepare it for us.

The next time the flesh starts asking if God is going to come through in your wilderness, don’t go there.  God has not failed and he will not.  No matter how lean the times, God will furnish a table in our wilderness.

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