August 4, 2016
The Long Campout
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. – Matthew 6:31-32
For several successive Octobers, we watched our daughter and her family prepare for a deer hunting expedition in central Oregon. For at least a month prior to each trip, there was packing and planning to be done for the ten-day campout. They had to take enough food and clothing to last for the whole stay, as it was miles to town and there were no laundry facilities or supermarkets up in the mountains. Their packing list was huge! The truck and trailer were piled with hunting, fishing, and play equipment, along with sleeping bags, ice chests, frozen food supplies, canned fruit and vegetables, and some fresh produce for the first days. Tents, camp stoves, and lanterns also took up space.
What a contrast to the Children of Israel! When Pharaoh told them to leave Egypt, they left in a hurry. Considering the trailer full of supplies that my daughter’s family used for a ten-day campout, one would expect the Children of Israel—who would be traveling in a harsh, dry wilderness—to need much more. Additionally, my daughter’s family has five members, but there were 600,000 Israelites fleeing Egypt that night, not including women and children.
Though they may have seemed unprepared for the journey, God cared for the Israelites in every way. They had no boat to get over the Red Sea, but God parted the sea and they crossed on dry land. They had no map to find their way through the wilderness, but God led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They had only the bread and clothes that could be carried, but God provided manna every morning and clothes that did not wear out.
Most of us prefer to know exactly how and when our needs will be met, and sometimes we might stress about those needs to the point of not trusting in God’s plan. However, we can look at the exodus from Egypt as an encouraging example of how faithful God is to provide for His people. Our focus verses say that we should not worry about even the basic necessities of life. As we place our complete trust in Him, we can be confident that He will supply our needs.