Good Morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:14)
The powerful and compassionate God was full of love toward the people of Israel, His people.  He was slow to anger to them.   God provided again and again for the people of Israel, not because they were faithful, but because they were His children.  The Amalekite raised their fist against the  God’s people.  God utterly defeated them before the Israelites, who were just a bunch of former slaves.   Moses raised high his staff before God.  Both the people of Israel and the Amalekites saw the Moses’ staff lifted high before God.    The Moses arms were getting heavier and heavier, and he could not continue raising the staff.   Aaron and Hur supported the Moses’ hands from both sides.  God answered for Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua and the people of Israel.   By the sunset, the people of Israel completely defeated the army of Amalek in battle.  The victory was the manifestation of God’s love on His people, and the Israelites trusted God, and completely faithful to God.   After the victory, the place was named as Yahweh-nissi, the LORD is my banner, which was the praise of the people of Israel from the deepest part of their hearts.  
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, heard about everything God had done for Moses and his people, the Israelites. He heard especially about how the LORD had rescued them from Egypt. 
Earlier, Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and his two sons back to Jethro, who had taken them in. (Moses’ first son was named Gershom, for Moses had said when the boy was born, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” His second son was named Eliezer, for Moses had said, “The God of my ancestors was my helper; he rescued me from the sword of Pharaoh.”)  Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, now came to visit Moses in the wilderness. He brought Moses’ wife and two sons with him, and they arrived while Moses and the people were camped near the mountain of God.  Jethro had sent a message to Moses, saying, “I, Jethro, your father-in-law, am coming to see you with your wife and your two sons.”
So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law. He bowed low and kissed him. They asked about each other’s welfare and then went into Moses’ tent.  Moses told his father-in-law everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and Egypt on behalf of Israel. He also told about all the hardships they had experienced along the way and how the LORD had rescued his people from all their troubles.  Jethro was delighted when he heard about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel as he rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians.
“Praise the LORD,” Jethro said, “for he has rescued you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh. Yes, he has rescued Israel from the powerful hand of Egypt!  I know now that the LORD is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people from the oppression of the proud Egyptians.” (Exodus 18:10-11)
Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron and all the elders of Israel came out and joined him in a sacrificial meal in God’s presence.   What a beautiful scene before God!    Moses saw Jethro again, and reunited with his wife, two sons after the treacherous days of leading the stubborn people of Israel, who could not and did not trust God whenever they encountered with any kind of hardships.   Then they complained to Moses and God.   The time with Jethro, his father-in-law, and his wife and two sons was a really precious and refreshing moment for Moses.   Yes, God provided! 
God always provides although we feel trapped and there is no way out.  It is just our feeling.   God already has a plan to way out, and He is patiently waiting for the perfect time for us, as God did for Moses and the people of Israel.   This is our God’s mercy and grace.
One time, the people of Israel tried to stone Moses when they found no water to drink although they had plenty of manna to eat: the heavenly food from God.   The food that they had neither planted nor paid for, but God provided abundantly.   Despite of their complaints, God had just poured on His children as His love and grace.  However, the people of Israel quickly changed, when the Amalekite’s warriors attacked them.   Nobody complained.   Why?  
Not having water or food was really a real hardship for the Israelites, but it was not so time-critical as the swords of the Amalekite’s warriors, which were about to be swung to kill them.  Before the Amalekite’s swords, there was no time for them to complain.   They always acted like babies – whining and complaining rather than listening to parent’s voice.   Even so, they exactly knew when they could whine and complain to God or not.    Before the invading warriors, their whining and complaints were absolutely useless, i.e., nothing to gain but being perished.  Of course, this was their point of view, not God’s point of view.
Let’s ask to ourselves: didn’t God know about the above?  No, God exactly knew what was going on in their hearts.   God knew how they responded before the invading Amalekites, who were well-trained warriors.  The Israelites were just slaves recently released from Egypt, who had never borne arms as an organized army.  The people of Israel quickly realized that it was not time to complain, but come to God and trust Him to get His help.   They saw before the God’s greatest might and His hand, and they remembered.   Then, they fought in faith in God, who would rescue them from the invading army.   God, who patiently waited for their trust in Him, provided: they miraculously defeated the Amalekite warriors.   Yes, they won the battle.    God gave the Israelites the amazing victory.   How gracious, merciful and loving God He was for the people of Israel!   
God of grace and peace came to the Israelites in the wilderness.   They were satisfied by the manna from heaven, and refreshed with the water from the rock.    Most of all, they could really experience God.   Before the attacking warriors, first they trusted God rather than complaining and whining to Him.   They fought in faith, and they got the first victory over the formidable enemy – the Amalekite warriors.   Yes, it was a miracle, and a faith builder.   All of these was provided God.   Yes, God provided.  
Is our mouth about to utter complaints to God due to one aspect of our lives on earth?    Then remember what God did to the Israelites to get rid of their bad habit of complaining and whining.   If we keep complaining and whining before God, of course, first God patiently waits for us and provides.   Then we easily and mistakenly presume that we did something right before God.   No, absolutely not.   God is merciful, and provides to us because He is patient in His love.   If we continue complaining and whining, then God have to do something dramatic by changing the situation around us.   God eliminates the room that we used to enjoy while complaining or whining, and then introduces something that really gets our undivided attention in order to make us focus on Him.  For example, the attacking warriors to the Israelites.   Then we should not harden our hearts, and come to Him while quickly focusing on our eyes on Him.   Surely, we will experience Him and go deeper relationship with Him.   Then we will truly appreciate God’s grace and peace prepared for us.   Praise God, who dearly loves us!   There is no other reason, but we are His children, who were purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.  Amen!
Remember what it says:
“Today when you hear his voice,
       don’t harden your hearts
       as Israel did when they rebelled.”  (Hebrews 3:15)

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