Being Hungry and Thirsty is a Gift {DWITW 365}


Who can forget the victorious song in Exodus 15 that Moses and the children of Israel sang when they were led out of captivity? What a great day of rejoicing they must have had together as they witnessed the demise of Pharaoh’s chariots. They declared the might and power of their great God as He shattered their enemies before their very eyes. They sang of His great exploits and realized His great love that had redeemed them out of the hand of their strong enemy.

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin…after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’
— Exodus 16:1-3

Although this reference to ‘Sin’ is an actual place where the Israelites arrived, not too long after their great escape from captivity, I can’t help but see the connection to human sin here. So often, God frees us from the bondage of sin and we walk right back into the same sinful territory that He has already called us out of. We, too, are like the Israelites in that we are quick to forget God’s awesome power in and through our lives and are instead prone to grumble in the wilderness.

The Israelites had just declared the triumphant power of their God who had rescued them from the hand of their wicked masters, but they quickly forgot His loving care that had provided them a way of escape. They believed such nonsense when they became thirsty and hungry. In their lack, they forgot about the sovereign rescue God had displayed in their lives and conversely, they had regressed into thinking that they would be better off dead.

We, too, readily walk back into old patterns of thinking, or look back into the “Egypts” in our lives -- thinking of the old days, allowing our wrong thinking to form, and inform, our heart-attitudes. We, too, forget to rehearse the history of God’s faithfulness in our lives, and so we lose sight of His sovereign care that has brought us out of bondage, and into a land of plenty where He has every intention of feeding and caring for us. We are prone to wander from the truth that God is good, gracious, merciful and kind toward His people.

We don’t readily perceive times of difficulty as gifts from God but being hungry and thirsty truly are gifts from God.  We grumble against God or bring His sovereignty into question without taking another look at what He might be up to in the process of our difficulties. We give access to the enemy to come back in and wreak havoc in our lives as Paul warns against in I Corinthians 10:9-11.

He is showing them that He will continue to provide for them

Instead of God striking them down for their grumbling, He declares: “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.” (Exodus 16:4) God is so good to give them another opportunity to trust Him. He is showing them that He will continue to provide for them, maybe not like the spectacular display of the parting of the Red Sea, but in the day to day faithfulness of their needs. God uses His chosen leaders to shed light on the situation as Moses and Aaron declare in Exodus 16:6-10:

“At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against the LORD. For what are we, that you grumble against us? … When the LORD gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him- what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the LORD.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.”

Isn’t that just like the LORD! He appeared to His people in the midst of their sin so that they would know Him! Jesus did that for us too! He saw us landlocked in our sin and heard our cry and He condescended to us, in our lowly grumbling state, so that we would KNOW Him as LORD!

He humbles us by letting us grow hungry and thirsty so that we will feed on His faithfulness

He always has a purpose when He allows us to go through difficulties. He humbles us by letting us grow hungry and thirsty so that we will feed on His faithfulness and in so doing come to know Him in a much greater capacity than we ever imagined was possible. God in His graciousness gives us opportunities to walk in His ways. He disciplines us because He loves us. He takes care of us through the difficulties of our lives so that we will walk in His ways and fear Him, knowing that we cannot live without the Bread of Life.

Through Christ, we are now in that good Promised Land where we have access to the veins of His glory! If we will just mine through the difficulties, we will excavate the reality of the goodness of the glory of our God. We must keep our eyes on the Prize and not on the past; we must leave behind grumbling and continue to declare His great acts, so that we will continually be reminded of His faithfulness in our lives. We have every reason to sing the high praises of our King -- He has triumphed gloriously over the wilderness of sin! And in allowing us to be hungry and thirsty, He is actually giving us an opportunity to see Him more clearly, know Him more nearly, and love Him more dearly.


Karen Savage wants to live in a world where Christ is Glorified. When she's not serving her family, you can find her serving others. Her favorite Scripture is John 15:7-8 ESV.