In Egypt the Israelites were slaves, but their needs of food, shelter, and clothing were met in a society in such a way that it did not make God’s provision apparent to them. Does that sound familiar? Don’t we have the same problem in 21st Century America?
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. Exodus 16:4 (NASB)
Most Christians I know do not walk by faith. They may claim that they do, but when their circumstances evolve so as to put them in a corner with a clear black and white choice to trust God or play it safe, they rarely step out on faith trusting God. Instead, they choose the easy way out which is always the wrong choice because it does not lead to the blessings of God or the peace of God or into His light.
Does God still put us into “tests” as He did the Israelites during the Exodus? Sure He does. I am not one of those name-it-and-claim-it/word-faith Christians. I am not one of those who believe that if we follow certain formulas that God will shower us with riches. Instead, I believe that our circumstances can be very unpleasant and we could still be experiencing “Bread from Heaven.” We could be in the midst of terrible persecution or find ourselves in a dark room of doubt because of God allowing Satan to attack us and at the same time have the Joy of the Lord manifest in our hearts that no non-believer would ever understand. I believe that God will bless His people at times in order to test them. When we operate in the flesh we are idolatrous people. Let’s be honest. If we find ourselves in plenty isn’t this an even harder test for us than to be in want?
God is glorified when His people believe Him then obey Him. The book of Exodus is remarkable. Moses made sure that we understood that God is Sovereign. He is fully in control of all circumstances in His people’s lives. All provision comes from Him. In Egypt the Israelites were slaves, but their needs of food, shelter, and clothing were met in a society in such a way that it did not make God’s provision apparent to them. Does that sound familiar? Don’t we have the same problem in 21st Century America? When God caused the Exodus to happen, the Israelites were removed from a position of being provided for by their slave masters to one of having to trust God for water, food, shelter, and protection. As we read the book of Exodus it is apparent that the vast majority of the Israelites who were adults at their departing from Egypt believed God when it cost them nothing. If they did not have to step out on faith then they were fine with obeying God. However, when there was no water to drink, or food to eat they grumbled against God and threatened to kill Moses