And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’” Exodus 16:11–12
MANY YEARS AGO, when I was studying God’s Word, the Lord spoke to me, saying, “Before the law was given, none of the children of Israel died when they came out of Egypt. Even though they murmured and complained against God’s appointed leadership, not a single one of them died. This is a picture of pure grace.” I had never heard anyone teach this before or read it in any book, so I quickly went through that portion in my Bible and indeed, I could not find anyone who died before the law was given!
Living under grace means that all the blessings and provisions that we receive are dependent on God’s goodness and not our obedience.
God had delivered the children of Israel from a lifetime of slavery by performing great signs and wonders. But when they found themselves caught between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptian army, they complained to Moses, saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?” (Exodus 14:11). What audacity! And yet, did God punish those who murmured? No, in fact, He saved the Israelites spectacularly, opening up the Red Sea for them to escape from their pursuers who were closing in on them.
After they had crossed over to the other side of the Red Sea, they continued to murmur over and over again, in spite of God’s miraculous provisions and gracious protection. At a place called Marah, they complained that the waters were bitter and God made the waters sweet and refreshing for them (Exodus 15:23–25). Then, when they had no food, they grumbled to Moses again, saying, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3). Their ungrateful diatribes were directed not only at Moses, but also at God. So did God rain fire and brimstone on them? No! He rained bread from heaven to feed them! It was as if every fresh murmuring brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s goodness!
Do you know why?
It is because all these events occurred before the Ten Commandments were given. You see, before the law was given, the children of Israel lived under grace (unmerited favor). Living under grace meant that all the blessings and provisions that they received were dependent on God’s goodness and not their obedience. The Lord delivered them out of Egypt not because of their goodness or good behavior. He brought them out by the blood of the lamb (a picture of the blood of the Lamb of God) that was applied on their doorposts on the night of the first Passover.The children of Israel were dependent upon God’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant, which was a covenant based on His grace (unmerited favor). Abraham lived more than 400 years before the law was given, long before there were the Ten Commandments. God had related to Abraham based on Abraham’s faith in His grace and not based on Abraham’s obedience to the law. God’s Word makes it clear that Abraham was not justified by the law: “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:2–3). How was Abraham made righteous? He believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness!
When the Israelites journeyed from Egypt to Mount Sinai, they were under the Abrahamic covenant of grace. Therefore, in spite of their sins, God delivered them out of Egypt and provided for them supernaturally, not based on their goodness and faithfulness, but based on His goodness and faithfulness. The good news for you and me is this: Today, we are under the new covenant of grace (unmerited favor), and God’s unmerited favor is upon us. His blessings and His provisions for us are based entirely on HIS GOODNESS and HIS FAITHFULNESS. Hallelujah! How cool is that?
Father, I thank You for all the times You have blessed me despite my complaints and lack of faith. I am so glad that You bless me not because of my goodness or faithfulness, but because of Your goodness and faithfulness. I call this day blessed, fruitful and full of Your free favors because I am under Your pure grace!
God blesses me not because of my goodness and faithfulness, but because of HIS goodness and faithfulness!
– 100 Days of Favor