Sunday School @ 9am • Sunday Service @ 10am
Not far from and not long out of Egyptian chains, Israel began to grumble. They remembered their meat pots and leeks but seemed to forget their fetters (Exodus 16). So, they complained, something they would become quite good at. And God, in His mercy and provision, sent them bread from heaven (manna).
It arrived in the dew and burned off by the heat of day. God’s instruction was simple, pick up enough for the day. The lesson? Do not worry about tomorrow’s hunger, God would provide the following morning. But of course, there were those who questioned His provision. They scooped up more than a day’s quota and by morning it had turned to maggots.
And there we are, too, filling up our hands with “stuff”. The “stuff” is not necessarily bad, its just that it keeps our hands full when God wants them empty. God is often a secondary thought when things are going well; well by our standards. Augustine said centuries ago, “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s nowhere for Him to put it.”
God made us a particular way. And that way is that our joy and happiness is found in Him. Silly as it is, we do not believe Him. As long as there is something clamoring it satisfies, we pursue it. And when we get our mitts on it, we clutch it tight, not wanting to lose it. But at some point, it is simply maggots by morning.
And praise God that it is. He has something better. He has something we need. He has something that challenges and matures. But for that to happen, our full hands need to be emptied. Our false happiness needs to be exposed. It is God’s mercy when He makes our life less agreeable to us; when He makes our life less sweet. For earthly contentment often is the roadblock to what we need most. In a word, Him. In two words, Him alone.
If we do not learn that lesson in this life, how wretched will be our eternity? So, even maggots are God’s mercy. If He makes life less sweet here, it is because He is less interested in our happiness and more concerned with our holiness. God always has His larger view. We would do well to remember that.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
July 22, 2021