Feb 4 (Daily reading: Exodus 16-18) “And Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; and he said, ‘Because the LORD has sworn, the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation’” (17:15-16). There is a principle to understand here. Do you remember how God hated Esau’s attitude of independence from God? Amalek was Esau’s grandson (Gen. 36:12), and the attitude continued with him. “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you came out of Egypt, how he confronted you on the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God” (Deut. 25:17-18). The Amalekites were dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and they picked off the “tired and weary.” Satan’s tactics have not changed. “The desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another” (Gal. 5:17).
We see Esau’s attitude in Israel’s dangerous pattern of complaining, of not trusting God, even though He provided water, meat and bread (manna). The manna was given according to their exact need, not too little and not too much. God is our Provider, and He knows exactly what we need. His provision is always sufficient! But Israel did not believe this, and their unbelief led them to eat “the manna for forty years” (16:35). Even though it tasted like wafers made with honey, it would not taste so good if you ate it every day for years! They later said, “Our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna!” (Num. 11:6). God never intended for them to eat manna forty years! He brought them out (of Egypt) to bring them in (to the land He promised them). Because of their rebellious attitude, they never exchanged the manna for the “milk and honey” of the Promised Land. God-Is-Our-Banner—let us faithfully follow Him!