So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?’ 8 Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.’
Reading verse 6, I am reminded of these words from Isaiah 42:8: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
(See verse 3 where the people said Moses and Aaron had brought them out of Egypt.)
Not only did the Lord bring them out, but He also provided them with all they needed, day by day, for 40 years. He fed 2 million people every day over that time span. The manna only ceased when they finally settled in the land (35,36). As a testimony to future generations, an Omer of manna was preserved in a jar (33). It is still bearing witness to the faithfulness of God as we read this today.
What is remarkable is that this is set in the context of the people’s grumbling and it highlights God’s grace.
In 1 Cor.10:10 Paul writes: “And do not grumble as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel.” (Although this refers to another time, it underlines the seriousness of grumbling. It’s not a trifling matter).
Paul also writes in Phil.2:14-16: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
Nonetheless, we see here God’s ‘amazing grace’ in the face of His peoples’ gripes and grumbles.
Of course, this was not just about physical food. God wanted to show them that “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut.8:3; Matt.4:4). Looking back to verses 4,5, Tom Hale says we need to ‘gather’ our spiritual food every day. He asks, ‘Do we gather into our soul the word of Christ each day? Our life depends on it’ (John 6:57,58).’ ‘Applied Old Testament Commentary,’ p.233.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for your grace and faithfulness through all the years of my pilgrimage. I am unworthy of your great kindness. I am sorry to say I have often grumbled and complained, but your provision has been constant, generous and abundant. I am deeply undeserving and profoundly thankful.