“On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have brought in, it will turn out to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” Moshe and Aharon said to all the people of Israel, “This evening, you will realize that it has been Adonai who brought you out of Egypt.“–Exodus 16:5-6
Notice that Moses and Aaron have to keep reminding the people that it was the Lord who brought them out of Egypt.
Why is this?
Well, the truth is the people weren’t entirely sure exactly who or what had freed them.
Does this come as a surprise to you?
Although they had physically left Egypt, the superstitions and pagan mindset they had absorbed from their days in bondage were still very much a part of their psyche.
Like all other people of their era, the Israelites were still filled with all kinds of superstitions and believed in magic and sorcery.
This in spite of all the plagues back in Egypt.
In spite of the parting of the Red Sea.
Even in spite of God’s presence being manifested as a cloud by day and a fire by night, the people were still not entirely convinced that it was this God called YHVH who had freed them.
And by the way, I know I’ve said this about 20 million times already, but keep in mind that every time you come across the words “Adonai” or “Lord” in your Bibles, know that most of the time (like 99% of the time), the original Hebrew there is YE-HO-VEH or the Hebrew letters YOD, HEH, VAV, HEH.
Since Moses was the visible human presence, it was to him that the people looked to as the source of power that had freed them.
And when difficult times arose, it was Moses who was blamed.
Notice that Moses and Aaron had to admonish the people that “Your grumblings are not against us but against Adonai“.
This was a point Israel wouldn’t fully grasp for decades.
In fact, chapter 16 makes it clear that an important part of the instructions concerning the Manna from heaven was to teach them that it was YHVH and NOT Moses who was responsible for freeing them from Egypt.
I think today’s post gives us great insight into how the primitive mind worked and why idol worship was and actually still is so prevalent.
The simple truth of the matter is that it is difficult to believe in something that is not visible to our five senses.
This is why from time immemorial, man has always had a tendency to worship physical objects whether animate or inanimate.
I think we have tendency to look back at these ancient Hebrews in a condescending fashion and say to ourselves ‘if it was me, I surely wouldn’t have acted or thought as they did’.
However, every time we are swayed by our physical circumstances instead of resting in the promises of God, are we not doing the same thing?
Every time we let the physical take precedence over our faith in God, we are no different than the ancient idol-worshippers of old.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”