When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
The thought of Moses naturally suggests the Israelites in the wilderness. Faithful was the Mediator, through whom God dealt with them: but was Israel faithful? God spake: did they obey? God showed them wonderful signs: did they trust and follow in faith? And if Israel was not faithful under Moses, and their unbelief brought ruin up ,n them, how much more guilty shall we be, and how much greater our danger, if we are not faithful unto the Lord Jesus? The history of the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness is most instructive (1 Corinthians 10.). According to the solemn words addressed by the glorified Saviour to the Church of Thyatira, Israel's experience is to be a warning to all the Churches.
1. It is a marvellous history from beginning to end. The exodus out of Egypt, the passage through the Red Sea, the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. the manna, the pillar of cloud and fire, the victory over Amelek, the rock that followed them, the garments that never became old; all is miracle, full of the wondrous love and power of God. who is Israel's Redeemer. Consider the Messenger, the Angel of the Covenant, Christ, who led them. Their whole life and history was a life and history by the word of God. Do you know this as a present experience?
2. It was a history of solemn and glorious privilege. God separated Israel unto Himself. Their daily need, their absolute dependence on Divine help, the constant gift of manna, guidance and defence, the daily beholding of God's mighty and gracious works — all this was a marvellous privilege, the life of faith was made near and easy. Is this not a picture of the Christian's life?
3. It is a sad history from beginning to end: continual murmuring, doubt, ingratitude, idolatry, sin; looking back unto Egypt and its pleasures, forgetting its degradation and bondage, doubting God's goodness and power, yielding to the temptations of lust and tempting the Lord Jehovah, the faithful and merciful Christ. It is a sad history, full of fearful judgments. And yet the Lord was with them all the days, and every day, ready to bless and to gladden them. Do you understand the parable? Yet was there in Israel also faith and love; and God remembers the time of their espousals, when they followed Him in a laud that was not sown. There were not merely murmurings, but hymns of thanksgiving; there were willing offerings unto the Lord of gold and silver, there was victory over the enemies, there were Joshua and Caleb, who followed the Lord fully.
Parallel VersesKJV: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.