Sunday, February 7, 2016

Trust and Obedience

This week's Torah portion is Exodus 13:17 - 17:16.

Pharaoh had finally decided to let Moses and the Israelite people leave the land of Egypt! It took ten horrific plagues to convince Pharaoh, but they were free! However, shortly after starting out on their journey to the Promised Land, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his army after them. Eventually the Israelites encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon. There was no way to move further and the Egyptians blocked them from behind.

Moses said to the people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (Exodus 14:13,14, KJV)."

Our powerful God then parted the sea and allowed the Israelites to pass through on dry ground. When the Egyptians attempted to follow, the sea returned to its normal course and drowned all the Egyptians. God had fought for His people and had kept His Word.

After witnessing such an amazing event, it seems impossible that the Israelites would ever doubt God again. Yet, they did. Three days after the parting of the sea, the people murmured against Moses because of a lack of drinkable water. God met their need and then said, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee (Exodus 15:26, KJV)."

But even this second miracle did not keep the people from murmuring. About a month later they complained about their lack of food.

God said, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily (Exodus 16:4,5, KJV)."

Now the Israelites had a dependable source of food. Did they trust God? No. "And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, 'How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day (Exodus 16 27-29, KJV).'"

Even after all of God's care for His people they continued to complain and to disregard His laws.

But before we cast any disparaging comments on the Israelites' lack of trust and obedience, we need to ask ourselves about our own condition. If we have been saved by the grace of God through faith in Yeshua, God expects us to trust Him no matter what our circumstances may appear to be. He also expects us to obey His commands. He doesn't expect us to obey in order for us to be saved by them, but our obedience is the evidence that we have been saved. Are we obedient to the laws of God? If we are not, we must surely question our salvation.

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