As Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out to the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.
The community of Israel journeys into the wilderness of Sin. The people begin to complain against Moses and Aaron bringing them into the wilderness to starve. They make the ridiculous complaint that in Egypt they always had enough and sat around eating all day.
The Lord promises Moses that He will provide meat every evening and bread each morning. So each evening vast numbers of quails fly into the camp, and each morning a flaky substance which they call manna appears on the ground.
Amidst the complaining and grizzling of the people in the wilderness, they could see the glory of God in the cloud.
Their fear and unbelief prevented them trusting the God who was gloriously present with them, shining from the cloud at the edge of the camp.
The issue was not that they doubted God’s presence- He was clearly visible to them. Nor was the issue that God was able to provide for them- they had experienced some awesome miracles in the previous few weeks.
The issue was this. Did God care enough to provide for their needs? Could they trust the Lord to bring them through?
This issue of the Lord’s love and our trust in Him is at the heart of all doubt, and indeed of all sin.
We don’t have the cloud of glory “out there.” We have the Holy Spirit in us, a far greater blessing than the children of Israel experienced.
This same question remains for us as we pass through our own wilderness experiences. Can I trust God in this wilderness?
Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief. Help me to trust you in the wilderness times even more than in the good times. Amen.