In the wilderness, God had supplied the Israelites with all that they had needed. He was with them: in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night to give them light so they could travel by day or night (Exodus 13:21). Their clothes and sandals never worn out (Deuteronomy 29:5).
In the wilderness, they did not have lands to plant vegetables for food. God then provided food for them, manna, which He rained down from Heaven. Manna in Hebrew means “what is it?!”.
“4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days” (Exodus 16:4-5).
As time passed, the Israelites were sick of having manna every meal. They began to get upset and frustration got a hold of them. they began to wail, whine and complained that they had lost their appetite because they had (eaten and seen) too much manna.
“4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6)
They were making comparisons with their old life in Egypt. They would rather be working as slaves in Egypt under the cruel task masters and had fish, and other types of food to eat, than being in freedom with God as their loving Provider. Being in the wilderness meant they had to trust God like never before.
They got what they wanted: meat. God sent them quails but it was not without a price.
It is easy for us to whine and complain. It is easy to find things to complain about. May God have mercy on us. May God help us to see His goodness, mercy, providence, forgiveness and love.
Let us cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. What are the things you can give thanks to God for today? Why not list them down and give thanks to God for His mercy and providence?