Today’s Reading: Exodus 16:2-21
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 42:1-34, 38; Mark 12:1-12
“Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by meat pots and ate bread in plenty, for you have brought us into this wilderness to kill this whole congregation with hunger.” (Exodus 16:3b)
Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It had been about a month since the Lord brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Pharaoh had been merciless to them. He forced them to make bricks without straw. Pharoah’s taskmasters beat them and were cruel to them. They cried out to the Lord for salvation. The Lord heard and sent Moses. The Lord saved them with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Now they are hungry. They want meat. They want bread. They grumble to God and complain. “Life was better in Egypt! We had such great meals there!” That’s some romanticized revisionist history. The grass is greener in slavery? That’s fake news!
That’s the absurdity of our unbelief. God has brought us out of the slavery of our sins through the holy life and Good Friday of Jesus. He has redeemed us from our evil and saved us from death itself. But when He doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it, we grumble and despair. We don’t have enough. We need more. Things were better before. He was a better God before. That’s just more fake news!
The sin is unbelief. The children of Israel in the wilderness didn’t believe that God was good enough to keep them fed. Neither do we believe that God is good enough to take care of us. So we doubt, despair, and grumble against Him. We make plans to compensate for God’s not being good to us.
Repent. Quit being discontent with what God has done for you. Who are you to judge God? Do you really believe that you’d make a better god than God? Stop focusing on what you don’t have and receive what God has done for you in Christ.
God saved the children of Israel. He fed them in the wilderness with manna and quail. He has saved you, too, in the giving up of His Son. He has rescued you from your sins, from your death, and from the power of the devil with His holy life and bitter sufferings and death for you. He didn’t go through Lent and Good Friday to abandon you. He’s going to carry you through whatever struggles you may have in this life. He will do it His way. You can trust Him. He’s going to come through for you. He already has in Jesus. Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. George Borghardt