When the Israelites were in Egypt, they had a bad disposition from the start. Instead of saying, “There isn’t any water. Can you give us some water?” they went straight to “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”? (Ex. 17.3)
I want to say this is typical Mid-eastern hyperbole and extremism. “This is a great car for you to buy, I swear upon my dear mother’s grave!” or “You shouldn’t have stolen that apple, now I’ll chop off your hands and hang them from your neck as I parade you through town!” But I think I talk that way a lot too. (Great! Now my whole day is shot!)
They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?”
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
You brought us out here to starve!
You brought us out here so the Egyptians could kill us by the sea!
You brought us out here [insert God’s evil plan for them here]
It’s so CRAZY. And I do the same thing. God gives me a huge blessing, and I think to myself, oh, now this bad thing will probably happen. Like how many times with each of our kids I thought about bad things happening to my wife or the baby. Like how many times we had a fun day, like watching the boys ride their scooters in Germany, and I just think at any moment one of them is going to wipe out and break a bone. It’s not cynicism or pessimism, because under all of those thoughts I know God will carry us through it, but it’s like I think God wants to come up with difficulties to bring us through.
In some ways that’s true.
“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
(James 5:11 NIV)
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
(Romans 5:3-4 NIV)
But at the same time as all of that perseverance and suffering, these things are also true:
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
(Psalms 84:11 NIV)
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
(John 15:16 NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
(Romans 8:28 NIV)
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
(Romans 8:31-32 NIV)
Wow, God really loves us! John Piper talks about us being sailors dying of scurvy and God having pockets full of oranges. If only we could grasp the full love of God for us in Jesus! If only we could fully grasp how great the love of the Father is for us! He is ALWAYS in FULL [ask and it will be given] mode. He never laughs with a heh heh heh at His loved ones, but it says in Psalms that He laughs heartily at His enemies.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
(Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV)