Day Twenty-Seven, Exodus 15-18
In this reading, a couple of things stand out to me. The first is God's provision. Even when the Israelites are grumbling and complaining, God gives them what they need. It reminds me of one of my favorite passages from Matthew 6:
"Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, wha tyou will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of hte field grow? They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Not only did God provide for the Israelies, He made sure that they learned to trust in Him to provide each day. He would only allow them to gather enough food for the current day. It would not last overnight. The only exception to this would be on Friday, the day before the Sabbath. On Friday they could gather enough for two days, because He did not want them to do any work on the Sabbath. For in the same way that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day, the Israelites were to rest on the seventh day.
I love a little commercial that I usually hear playing on the KLOVE radio station during the weekends, encouraging people to relax, refresh, recharge, etc. It says something like, "After all, taking a day off was God's idea in the first place." Ha!
Something else I love in this reading is that we once again see where God loves reminders/memorials. He instructs them to take a jar of manna and keep it as a memorial to these days when God provided for Israel in the desert. That way their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren can see and be told of the Lord's provision for His people.
Finally, this reading contains an account of the Israelites' defeat of the Amalekites, who came and attacked them in the desert. Moses told Joshua to choose some men to go out and fight against them. He would go and stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand. So while Joshua was fighting, Moses went up and stood with his hands raised to the Lord. When Moses' hands were in the air, Joshua and his men were winning. When Moses lowered his hands, however, Joshua and his men were losing. So two men, Aaron and Hur, held Moses' hands up in the air to the Lord, so that Joshua and his men would be able to defeat the Amalekites. The Lord said that He would be continually at war with Amalek and would completely destroy them. He also said to write down what happened and MAKE SURE JOSHUA HEARS ABOUT THIS!
I love God's providence. In His infinite wisdom, it seems that He knew that Joshua, who would one day lead His people, would need to know about the Lord's power to defeat their enemies!