“The Israelites said…, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we…ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’”Exodus 16:3
When our children were young, if they complained or were ungrateful, the last thing I was inclined to do was to give in to their demands. My approach was, “If you want to get something from me, you’d better ask nicely and be thankful!”
I was critical when I read of the Israelites who, just six weeks out of Egypt with all the wonders they had experienced, grumbled about God and His lack of concern and provision. Self-righteously I thought, “You’d think that all of this would have made them confident in God’s ability to care for them! Why would He want to listen to them now?”
My contempt turned to dismay when I read what the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread.’” What? He gave in? Why? The next phrase tells us why: “Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” I was humbled, realizing that God’s higher, eternal purpose for His people is that we know Him, His grace, and His glory.
God graciously provides for our needs out of His love (not in response to our demands) so that we might know him and His glory.