Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” | Numbers 11:3-5
Just from reading this, you might feel pity for Israel. Were they starving? When was the last time they ate fresh foods? How will this ragged group of people survive? Well, that is far from the truth! Here is the true context. The people of Israel were once enslaved in Egypt for generations and generations. They had to work tirelessly for the Egyptians and dealt with the slaughter of their male born sons. God heard the cries of His people, and He delivered them by using His servant Moses.
However, not even days later, Israel got into the habit of complaining on a regular basis. Believe me. They did not go hungry. Not even close! When there was no food to be found, God provided manna or food from heaven. How incredible is that? He literally provided daily bread. That is a miracle that Israel got to see first-hand on a daily basis. How would you react? Would you be in awe of God’s daily provision, or would you fall into the despondency like the Israelites did?
What I really want to focus on is how Israel began thinking about the “good times” in Egypt. They actually did this a couple of times during their time of journeying. When I read that, I was just completely appalled! Who in their right minds would EVER think back to a time of bondage and mistreatment as the good ol’ days? Their memories were so delusional that they started to talk as if living in Egypt was like living at a resort. God rescued them, and this is how they responded?!
How about you? We share a very similar past with Israel. We were slaves to sin, our past, etc. However, God intervened and rescued us through the blood of Jesus! On a daily basis, we experience the miracle of God’s Living Word, His grace, His Holy Spirit dwelling inside us, and SO many other countless things! I don’t know about you, but I know I take all of that for granted more often than not. I fall into complacency so often, on a regular basis. Not only that, I whine and complain of what I do NOT have!
I have a living God who made me His child, knows me by name, and resides within me for all of my moments. I should be reveling in His presence! Never take what you have for granted. God provides all of our needs and more! Don’t be like Israel and complain about your “first world problems.” Be grateful for all that God has done in your life and what He is continuing to do.