Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2
Do you ever think it would be easier to trust God if you lived in the days of parting seas and pillars of cloud and fire? You may rationalize that if you saw walls of water piling up and witnessed God destroying your enemies before your eyes you would never struggle with trusting Him.
That’s what the Israelites thought too. After experiencing His miraculous deliverance from Egypt and witnessing His awesome deeds on their behalf, they stood before Him at Mt. Sinai and proclaimed,
“Everything the LORD has said we will do.” Exodus 24:3
Well, I believe they at least had good intentions, but intentions aren’t what God was looking for. Let’s join them for a moment on their journey to their Promised Land.
Imagine what it would be like to watch your daily bread fall from the sky and pile up on the surface of the ground. Each day God proved His faithfulness by providing His people with food while they lived in the desert. The Israelites would awaken to a blanket of white glistening beneath the morning dew. God instructed them through Moses to gather just enough to provide for their families for the day.
“No one is to keep any of it until morning.” Exodus 16:19
You might suppose that seeing God’s power displayed for them again as He fed them with manna from heaven led to their wholehearted obedience, right? One would think so, but . . .
. . . some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:20
So much for the idea of witnessing God’s great deeds helping us trust Him more. No matter what they saw with their eyes, their hearts still rebelled.
God gave another opportunity to trust Him when the Sabbath came. He instructed the people to gather twice what they needed on the sixth day so they would have enough for the Sabbath because no manna would fall that day.
I bet that instruction raised some eyebrows. They had already discovered firsthand that the manna wouldn’t keep overnight, and I imagine they didn’t have much interest in eating stinking maggots. But for those who trusted, God showed His might once again.
So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. Exodus 16:24
Imagine that. Even food will spoil or keep from spoiling in obedience to the Word of the Lord. If only man—the crowning glory of God’s creation—would be that cooperative. He told them,
“Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none.” Exodus 16:26-27
And I’ll bet they were surprised.
No wonder anger kindled within God’s heart toward His covenant people. He chose them to be His own and bear His Name. He selected them out of all the nations of the earth to walk with Him and follow Him to a place of blessing He had prepared just for them. He performed miracles in their midst. Yet over and over, even when they saw His mighty power poured out on their behalf, they refused to trust. They didn’t obey, and no matter what God did, it was never enough.
“But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” Numbers 11:6
You see, God’s people had a heart condition. No matter how many times they saw His arm of power move, they still grumbled. They still disobeyed, refusing to trust Him, and insisted on their own way. Dear one, even with all that they saw Him do, they continued to lose the battle against the pull of sin within their hearts.
But God knew they would struggle. So He had a plan in place before Creation itself sprang forth from His mouth. He would perform the miracle of miracles. He would offer His Son on a cross and provide a way for mankind to exchange his wayward nature for that of God’s.
We will spend the next few weeks exploring the miraculous together through Scripture. Psalm 77:14 rings as true today as it did when the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea on dry ground,
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
My heart echoes Habakkuk’s cry in our opening Scripture. God stands ready to reveal His mighty deeds in our days. But we just might miss the miracles if we keep our gaze fixed on our outward circumstances. You see, the cross shifted the focus of God’s wonders from the external to the internal. Now, He works the greatest wonder of all; He’s changing the human heart.
You are the miracle He seeks to reveal now, dear one. Will you allow Him to display His power in you?