Question: “Is the LORD among us or not?” That is a question that Israel asked, in the form of testing God, after having been miraculously delivered from Pharaoh and the Egyptian military. It is a question that Israel asked after having been preserved through the ten plagues God sent upon Egypt. Israel was spared; Egypt was judged. Just as a reminder, Israel had been preserved and delivered while Pharaoh’s Egypt was judged by way of the following:
- The Nile River was turned to blood
- Amphibian invasion: frogs
- Death of Egypt’s livestock
- Death of the firstborn
Answer: Ten answers were not enough for Israel. Those were insufficient. They persisted in their unbelief, all the while paying lip service to believing the Lord.
Ten empirical eyewitness answers were not enough.
Then there was this little event of crossing the Red Sea. Just a small thing, of course. The nation of Israel, slaves under pagan Pharaoh, walked across the floor of the Red Sea, and watched God cover Pharaoh’s military in salt and brine and drown them as a judgment for their rejection of the truth of God.
And of course God rained down manna from heaven (Exodus 16) while they wandered through northern and eastern Egypt. And of course He provided water from the rock (Exodus 17). Israel’s daily bread and water were provided by God. Just a small thing, of course, after having crossed a sea, and seen God send judgment after judgment upon Egyptian unbelief and rejection.
The question remained with them: “Is the LORD among us or not?” (Exodus 17:7).
Takeaway: This is the beauty of the Question and Answer format.
The people asked; God answered—over and over again.
And then of course, there was this small thing of Jesus, nearly 2,000 years later, taking on flesh and fulfilling precise predictions about His birth, His ministry, the effects it would have upon Israel and world history, about what His haters would do to Him, about how He would be rejected, sold, betrayed, mocked, pierced, crucified, buried three days and nights just like Jonah, and raised again for all to see, just like Jonah—who made it to Nineveh, after all—and that He (Jesus) would build His church—that even Covid, mask mandates, and big government politicians could not put out.
You see, God answered Israel in the 1400s B.C. and He answers still. How? Through the historical transforming power of the truth: He is the God who provides.