by Verena Johnson
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He rained down manna for the people to eat, and he gave them the grain of heaven (Psalm 78:24).
We started this week with the feeding of the 5000, and now we’re finishing it with God providing manna in the wilderness.
Psalm 78 was a reminder to the Israelites of God’s incredible goodness to them in the past when he rescued them from Egypt and led them safely through the wilderness. They are encouraged to ‘set their hope in God and not forget the works of God’ (Psalm 78:7).
God’s works and goodness to them were so apparent when he ‘rained down’ manna and quail for them to eat their fill. Every day, except for the Sabbath, he provided food in plenty for them to eat. God miraculously provided every mouthful of food they ate. How amazing, how wonderful and how worthy of praise. You’d think those Israelites would’ve spent their days in the wilderness living in thankfulness.
Despite the obvious works and goodness of God, the Israelites majored in complaining and rebellion. Check out the rest of the psalm. They ‘refused to walk according to his law’ (verse 10); ‘they tested God’ (verse 18); ‘they spoke against God’ (verse 19); ‘they had no faith in God’ (verse 22); ‘they tested God again’ (verse 41); ‘they did not keep in mind his power’ (verse 42); ‘they tested the Most High God and rebelled against him’ (verse 56).
How could they?
Before we become too quick to judge them, let’s take a bit of a look at ourselves. How can we complain and rebel against the God who suffered and died for us and became the bread of life for us? But we do. How can we take God’s provision for granted or as a right? How can we be so busy focusing on and worrying about what we don’t have that we forget to thank and praise God for what we do have? How can we not see God’s provision for us and keep wanting more or better or different?
Our God ‘rains down’ his blessings on us every day. He feeds us with his bread of life. Take the time today to thank him for his provision. Ask him to show you how he has provided for you in the past and trust him with your needs for the future.
God, my loving provider, thank you for your provision and all the blessings you rain down on me. Forgive me for when I have rebelled against you, complained, taken your provision for granted or as a right, or wanted more, better or different than what you have given me. Help me to count blessings and trust you for my future needs. Amen.