The Lord's Arm
The children of Israel are tired of bread and they want some meat. It is hard for me to criticize them for this. I mean, when was the last time you went to a steakhouse, ate the bread, and then left without the steak? OK, maybe once, but try it for a month straight. I don't mean to offend the vegetarians or vegans, but I do like to eat a good steak when I am fortunate enough to be able to do so. It is a staple of this Texan's diet.
Moses, responsible for the leadership and well being of the people, hears the murmuring and grumbling of the children of Israel for meat and asks God where he is supposed to get the meat to quiet all of the people. God, angry with the people, gives an answer they certainly did not see coming. They will get their meat – not for one or two days, but they will eat meat until it comes out of their noses, and they will eat until they hate it!
Now, before we overly scrutinize Moses for his response, remember there are not just a few people to feed. It is not like me taking my family to the steakhouse – or even my extended family – one cow ain't gonna do it. And Moses points this out in verse 22 when he basically asks God, where do you suppose you are going to get all this meat? Are you going to slaughter all the cattle? Are you going to catch all of the fish in the sea to feed them? It is going to take a lot of meat to feed all of these people once, much less to feed them so much that they hate meat! How, God, how exactly to you plan on doing this?
Notice God's answer in verse 23:
The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
Continuing the reading shows us the people were struck by a plague as they ate, and many were likely more than a little "sick to their stomachs" of what they had eaten. I imagine some meat even came out of the nostrils of those indulging.
But focus on the Lord's response in verse 23, specifically "Is the LORD's arm too short?"
God gives us the answer to this question in scripture in many ways. One such way I would like to focus on is in the use of a rhetorical question. In Jeremiah 32:27, God asks "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" God asks in Isaiah 50:2 "Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you?" And again in Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son." Finally, in Zechariah 8:6 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of hosts."
If the LORD were to ask me that, I would surely shiver and curl up. I would fall on my face; how small I would feel. I would be afraid. I would not answer; I would shut up and humble myself. Can you imagine Jehovah God asking you that question?! Have mercy on us for our doubt!
The answer to this question is fairly obvious to anyone with even a grain of faith, but it is encouraging and important to meditate on. Is the LORD's arm too short? Is there anything too difficult for God?
Isaiah 59:1 answers by saying "Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear." And in Jeremiah 32:17 "Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,"
You and I serve a God with a long reach; nothing is too difficult for Him. Do not let your faith waiver; be assured of your salvation. Even if you have done terrible things, even if you may be convinced you could not be saved, is the LORD's arm too short to reach out to you?
In conclusion, Matthew 14:28-31:
Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
By Jeremy Dozier
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