Different Problem, Same God
Why don’t they trust God? How can they so quickly forget God’s faithfulness? Why don’t they just talk to God first?
These three questions are ones I asked myself over and over again as I read about the Israelites journey to God’s promised land, specifically in Exodus 16-17. In these chapters, we see the Israelites beginning their journey after God parted the Red Sea to save them from Pharaoh’s army.
Not long after that miracle, the Israelites found themselves in the Desert of Sin where the Bible says that they “grumbled” because they didn’t have any food. So, what did God do? He provided food morning and night so everyone was fed. Problem solved, right? Yes, but no. The Israelites continued to complain and worry with each new place they went.
As I read these chapters, I felt frustrated with the Israelites, but I also saw myself in them: the way they forgot God’s faithfulness, their tendency to complain, and their habit of neglecting prayer.
I’m guilty of all of the above, but what I’m slowly learning and what I wish I could’ve told the Israelites is this: Different problem, same God.
Everywhere the Israelites went, they encountered a new problem: enemies, hunger, thirst, the list goes on. But the one constant no matter what they faced was that they had the same faithful God by their side every step of the way.
And we do too.
So what do we do when we are hit with problem after problem like the Israelites were? We have a choice. We can grumble, or we can remind ourselves of how God has been faithful in the past and meditate on His promises for the future.
Here are a few verses to get you started and help you remember that the problem may change, but the faithfulness of our God never does:
- “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30)
- “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” (Psalm 121:5)
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)
- “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14)