How to Know You’ve Learned
Today’s reading: Exodus 13-15; Matthew 19:1-15
23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Exodus 15:23-24
13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, Matthew 19:13
Not much changed in people, even God’s people, from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus Christ. Not much has changed from those times until today. Don’t we struggle to apply what we think we have learned in the past to current problems and challenges?
The Israelites had seen God deliver them from Egypt by a series of plagues. Their escape was jeopardized when Pharaoh’s army pursued them. They were desperate, but God again delivered them. They rejoiced as the cadavers of their enemies washed up on the shores of the Red Sea while they watched safely. Can God deliver us from anything, repeat, anything? Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!
But within hours they were complaining about the lack of water and then, when they found water, they complained that it was bitter. The lesson of the Red Sea had been lost already.
The disciples had learned that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is a child (Matthew 18:1ff), but when little children were brought to Jesus those same disciples rebuked the parents who brought them. The lesson of the little child had been lost already.
God is patient with us, slow learners and thick-headed disciples. We really don’t get it, do we? Let’s face it; we are often repeating the same foolish mistakes of the Israelites and the disciples. How many times do we need to be re-taught the same lessons of faith, patience, and prayer? How quickly we forget what He has done in the past and cave in to doubt, complaining, whining, and panic.
Trust Him to act. Call upon Him with confidence to do more than you can ask or think. Transfer what you learned before to the trials and uncertainties of today. Then, you will know that you have really learned. Oh, and praise God for His patience. He has a bigger plan than we know.