Today the Bible reading was from the book of Numbers. The chapter was 11 and the particular section was "Quail From the Lord." It starts with verse 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! 5We 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!'" Wow, does that sound like me sometimes. The manna bread that fell from heaven, baked in the heavenly ovens was delivered to their door step everyday. I would imagine every morning as they came out of their tents it might have smelled like it smells walking down Main Street at Disneyland. I have a friend who researched and found a similar recipe that might have been what manna tasted like. Its was similar to a waffle cone, dense and sweet.
Then I came to verse 10. It says "Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled." Here God was giving them something that was special that could not be replicated. Think about it, the women didn't have to get up early to get the oven hot or coals and spend all morning baking bread for the family. The men didn't have to go out and grow the grain and harvest the grain needed to make the bread. It sounds so much like me. How ungrateful I am more often than not, that I can drive to the market and get what I need and it only takes me an hour of my week. And I still complain about going to the grocery store.
Verse 18 says "Tell the people: 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, "If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!" Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 But a whole month-until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it-because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying "Why did we ever leave Egypt?" They whined and dined. But probably not the way they had anticipated. Be careful what you ask for. How many times has God given me exactly what I wanted and after I got it, wasn't so happy about it? In fact, sometimes it becomes a burden in my life.
Then I read verse 33, "But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. 34 Therefore the place was names Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food." Ouch! I can remember one time in my life when I was blessed with a great little car. My great-grandmother told me to pick a car that I would like. We went to the dealer and she paid cash and I drove off the lot in a brand new car with no car payments. Other than replacing the battery, I never had a problem with that car. Then a few years later, a new model came out and I really wanted it. So I decided to trade in my payment free car for a newer model and now I was having to make car payments every month. Needless to say, that car ended up being a lemon. Because I didn't have any problems with the previous car, I opted out of the warranty. This car had problem after problem and because of it, put me deep in credit card debt.
I don't think God's feelings were hurt because the people got tired of the manna, I think it was more about their attitude. God is pretty clear on his expectations of our heart and character. Thankfulness is where He prefers us to be. Philippians 2:14 & 15 says, 14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe." He is holy and whining and complaining doesn't line up in the holy category.
This passage hit pretty close to home for me. Down deep in my heart, I really don't want to be a whiner. I really need to watch how I talk from now on. Its so easy to point out and complain about the things in my life that aren't the way I would prefer. I need to be more thankful for the things the Lord has provided for me. Its more important for me to be grateful. Thats is what is pleasing to Him. Psalm 100:4 says to "Enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart and to enter his courts with praise." I don't think there will be whiners in Heaven.