Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 17 and Revelation 16.
“Is the LORD among us or not?”
In Exodus 14, the people of Israel had walked on dry ground through the walled-off Red Sea. In Exodus 15, the bitter waters of Marah had been miraculously made sweet. Beginning in Exodus 16, the perfect amount of manna from heaven was being provided each morning. Three chapters, back-to-back-to-back, that contain absolutely incredible miracles.
But in Exodus 17 (the very next chapter), Abraham’s descendants are quarreling with Moses and demanding a clear-cut answer: “Is the LORD among us or not?”
Does their question resonate with you? Are you wondering the same thing? If so, take a moment to reflect on the fact that the Sun has risen on another day–the perfect distance away from you–and you had nothing to do with it. Trillions of blades of grass are turning green, millions of flowers are blooming, birds are flying everywhere, the right amount of oxygen for your lungs is freely available to you wherever you go … your own heart is beating–a fact that you probably hadn’t given one thought to today … until just now.
“Is the LORD among us or not?” How quickly the people of Israel had lost their bearings in the short distance between Exodus 14 and Exodus 17. Notice the last verse of Exodus 14:
Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Don’t miss that simple, but powerfully important summary:
- The people saw God’s power
- They fearfully respected the God behind the power
- They believed in the Lord and his messenger
“Is the LORD among us or not?” Maybe you’re grappling with the same question, thousands of years later. Could I recommend a simple exercise for the day?
- Look for signs of the power of God; if you open your eyes and ears, you’ll see them … everywhere.
- Once you recognize them, look beyond the signs great and small to the Designer and Upholder of it all–the One who continues to be worthy of your fearful respect.
- Believe in the Lord and his messengers.
As Paul and Barnabas preached in Lystra, this “living God” who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them has not left himself without witness. He continues to do good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness (Acts 14:15-17) … that you might know. The LORD is among us.