Israel’s supplies had dwindled. The desolation of the Wilderness of Sin was almost unbearable. In every direction, edible plants were sparse and any wild game to feed this great multitude had departed with the thunder of a million feet. Famished, Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron saying, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! “For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Talk about unfair. Did Moses twist their arms and force them to leave Egypt?
Slavery is a brutal way of life. God heard Israel’s cries for deliverance and He rescued them.
Now extreme hunger distorted their memory. The “pots of meat and …bread to the full…” eaten as slaves, were not as good as they remembered and in blaming Moses and Aaron, Israel's complaints were really against God.
Although our experiences are different, how many times is this also true of us?
Thankfully, our God forgives sin and He is a patient, kind, and loving Father. God heard Israel’s rantings, as He does ours. Yet, in His love, He calms, comforts, dries our tears and if needed, fills our empty stomachs.
This is our God.
Still, God never does anything without a purpose. In the evening and the morning, He would demonstrate His great provision. Then Israel would know He is the LORD their God and it was He who brought them out of Egypt.
Nevertheless, with this miracle God would also test them.
At sunset, quail darkened the sky, covered the ground, and meat crammed Israel’s pots. With full, grateful bellies, they slept soundly. Then, as sunlight broke the night, Israel awoke to a thick layer of dew coating the wilderness. When it dried, “a small round substance as fine as frost on the ground” remained.
“What is it?” They asked.
“…This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.” Moses explained.
Remarkably, God had exactly fulfilled their desires. But, where was the test?
God’s test came in the gathering.
His specific instructions were to gather only enough for each day and no more, except on the sixth day when they needed to gather double.
Would Israel trust God to provide their daily bread? Do we?