“He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. “In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Deuteronomy 8:15-16 (NASB)
These words are contained in the second address by Moses to the people Israel at the end of the 40 years of wandering after the Exodus. Deuteronomy means “second law” and in the first chapters of this book Moses recounts all that God has done for them.
Moses knows these people very well. He knows they complain about everything and they are strong willed and rebellious. God often refers to them as “stiff necked.” Israel also struggles with worry and fear.
Personally, I can understand their fear and anxiety to some degree. Many of those who left Egypt were not religious, but more like people you and I know today. They have a form of godliness but God is little more to them than someone who they love when he gives them what they want, and the one they blame when things go wrong. They had no real relationship with God before the Exodus and only learned God’s character as they traveled away from Egypt. As a result we see in the pages of Scripture that in addition to worry and fear, they were an anxious people.
I am not advocating irresponsibility here, but I am saying that I think we often stay in situations we should not be in out of fear. Our lives are not to be dominated by fear but by faith.
You might be wondering, “Is it really that simple?” You may be thinking up all sorts of objections that begin with, “What if…?” and “But what about…?” Yes, it really is that simple. Those “what if’s” are irrelevant in the plans the Lord has for us.
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