Against Whom Are We Complaining? – Part 1
“The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai.” (Exodus 16:1 NIV)
God used Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and then he led them through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The Bible says that one of the places where God led them was to “Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees…” But after they left Elim, they came to the Desert of Sin, and they began to grumble against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
Wait a minute. How had they gotten to Elim? They had been led by the cloud. Who was directing the cloud? God. Why did they leave Elim? Because they had been told, “When the cloud moves, follow the cloud.” So God was directing their footsteps. And now they had come to the desert and had started to grumble against Moses and Aaron!
So when they were led by God to Elim and everything was nice, the people were happy. The minute they got to the desert between Elim and Sinai, they got nasty and started to complain and get bitter. They liked it when God led them to a comfortable place, but when God led them to a place of hardship, they couldn’t trust that God had something in store for them that would be good for them in the end. They thought that ease means that what’s happening is good, and that trouble means it must be bad. They failed to realize that God leads us not only to Elim but sometimes into the desert as well.
To be continued…
Read Exodus 15:27—16:3.