“Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying ‘Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?  For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. . .And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore, the name of it was called Marah.  And the people murmured against Moses, saying ‘What shall we drink?’. . .”

Exodus 14:12; 15:23-24

An attitude of dependency and entitlement will always breed dissent, discord and division unless we remember Who’s leading us and supplies all of our needs.

The children of Israel had lived in slavery for 430 years.  They’d suffered tremendous hardships and heartache under Pharaoh’s heavy-handed ways that began as fear over the Egyptians being outnumbered by the descendants of Jacob/Israel (Ex. 1:9-14).

So often opposition and oppression are rooted in sinful motives, not righteous ones.  Quite often they spring from envy and jealousy. . .as seen the Philistines’ negative attitude toward Abraham (Gen. 26:14). . .Joseph’s brothers’ selling him to the passing band of Midianites (Gen. 37:3-5, 11; Acts 7:9). . .the religious leaders’ desire for Jesus’ death by crucifixion (Mt. 27:17-18; Jn. 11:47-48). . .and the Jews’ stirring up trouble against Paul (Acts 13:45; 14:2).

Yet, in today’s Manna we find the Israelites’ murmuring against Moses because of their unbelief and slave mentality.  Even though they’d been made to “serve with rigor by the Egyptians and their lives had become bitter through hard bondage” (Ex. 1:13-14), they still found slavery better than trusting in the One Who’d delivered them “with a mighty Hand” (Dt. 7:8).

Even though He’d demonstrated His great power through the 10 plagues and set them free as He’d promised, they still saw themselves in a hopeless situation that day as they saw the Red Sea in front of them, towering mountains on either side and Pharaoh’s army closing in from the rear.  And, even after the Lord God parted the Sea in a most miraculous way and they celebrated their deliverance with songs and a “joyous jig” on the seashore (Ex. 15:1-21), they soon were murmuring against Moses’ because of the bitter water and later on because of their lack of food (Ex. 16:1-2).

Oh, dear Pilgrim, just because one is delivered from the chains of slavery doesn’t mean he/she is delivered from the mindset of slavery.  Too often the same downcast, orphan’s mentality that existed during one’s dark days will carry over after God’s salvation and color everything we say and do—if we let it.

Right now, if you’re feeling oppressed because of what’s happening to or around you, cry out to the Lord and know He’ll hear you.  If others, on whom you’ve been depending have failed you or forgotten and forsaken you, cry out to the One Who’s promised “to supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).  Always remember He knows the needs of the righteous and will take care of them (Ps. 37:25).  Therefore, don’t murmur and complain if you’re facing difficulties right now; the same One that freed you from sin’s guilt and the Law’s curse (Gal. 3:13) will free you from despair and a slave’s mentality.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna July 23, 2010

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