Exodus Devotional | Provision and the People, Day 4: A Deceptive Heart
The Book of Exodus
The Greatness of God to His People in Need
Provision and the People, Day 4
“And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” - (Exodus 16:8)
Most Christians know better than to curse God, himself. We know better than to openly judge him, question him, and accuse him. We would never say such things...at least, not openly, with our mouths. The prophet Jeremiah says rightly that the heart is, above all things, “deceptive and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Our minds and hearts are so crafty that we can even deceive ourselves! Besides Satan, no one has ever lied to you more than...you!
So, when the hangry (yes...hangry. Hungry and angry!) Israelites rise up against Moses and Aaron, shouting at them, cursing them, accusing them, they think they can get away with it because they’re not blaming God. Well, Jeremiah, when speaking about our hearts, says, who can understand our hearts and see through the crafty deceit, down to what we’re really thinking, feeling, and saying? He goes on to say that it’s the Lord. The Lord knows what’s truly in your heart and mind--and he deals with you, according to not just what you say, but what’s really down in there, deep and hiding.
The Lord enlightens Moses to understand this and he warns the Israelites. The Lord gives you meat and bread...because he’s heard you grumbling against him. Imagine the indignation of the people. We didn’t say a word against God! We’re ticked off at you and Aaron! We’re not sinning against God! Moses asks, “What are we (himself and Aaron)? Your grumbling is not against us, but against the Lord.” Their underlying sin is exposed. They’re being called out. They thought they could get away with complaining about other people, leaders, and circumstances without being blamed for complaining about God. But, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
Because they’re God’s chosen people--his own possession--he doesn’t destroy them. He doesn’t punish them. He disciplines them by exposing the truth...and he still provides for their needs. The Lord isn’t some boss at a job. He’s our Heavenly Father who loves us and disciplines us with the truth and keeps loving us.
Is there deceptive sin in your heart today? What have you been grumbling about--blaming and cursing, when really...below it all...it’s God you're complaining about?
Take some time and do the hard work, especially if you find your heart hard to this message, to think of (and even write down!) how God has loved you and provided for you. The only fire that melts an ungratefully icy heart is gratitude. Pray over your list and ask the Lord to use it to disperse your grumbling and grow your faith and trust.