Is the Lord’s Hand Too Short?

Duane Loynes

Read: Numbers 11:16-23

And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened?” (v. 23)

A fascinating element of human nature is our tendency to complain about the very things that we asked for. We pray for a spouse, a job, or a home, and then turn around and grumble about a spouse who annoys us, a job we hate, and a home that requires maintenance. We beg God to hear our prayers, only to receive what we asked for and then regret that our request was granted.

In Numbers 11, the Hebrews are wandering in the desert. Pharaoh, his army, and the hardships of slavery in Egypt are in the rearview mirror, but present realities don’t appear much better. It’s hot, overcrowded, and resources seem low. God inaugurates a system of elders to take the burden off of Moses, but even Moses gets caught up in the pessimism of the time. The same people who cried out to the Lord to be rescued from the yoke of the Egyptians are now reminiscing about the good old days of slavery, doubting God’s providence.

It can be frighteningly easy to forget the goodness and power of God. How it must break his heart that our selective amnesia fails to recall the last time he answered our prayers. It is no wonder that, throughout the Old Testament, God establishes reminders of his goodness toward his people. The next time things look rough, remember the past accurately: God has done marvelous things before, and he can do them again.  —Duane Loynes

Prayer: Great is thy faithfulness, O God. Help us to remember it.