In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” . . . The LORD said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.’”
The Perfectly Satisfying Future
Our bodies need food to live. That is just as true for us as it was for the nation of Israel during their 40 years of wandering through the wilderness. They needed food to live. So God gave them food. God literally made it rain bread. For 40 years. But the main reason he did wasn’t to fill their bellies. He told them he did it so that “you will know that I am the LORD your God.” When they saw the manna, God wanted them to see the kindness of the God who gave it to them. And, at first, they did. But eventually, when they got tired of eating the same food day after day, they started complaining that they wanted something different. They weren’t grateful to receive whatever God sent them. Rather, they wanted the right to tell God how he should be taking care of them. They didn’t want to see God as much as they wanted to be God.
Like the manna, there are a lot of very good things God gives us in our lives—food, health, job, relaxation, family, friends, money, and possessions. But if, like Israel, we start complaining when those gifts aren’t all we would like them to be, we commit the same terrible sin of telling God how to be God.
Jesus came to give us a better way to live. His work as our Savior allows us to live each day without wondering if we are forgiven for all the times we have told God how to be God. His work for us allows us to live each day knowing that our fragile existence has God’s undivided attention. And he will not fail to provide all that is needed as he leads us to the perfectly satisfying future that has already been prepared for us in heaven.
Father in heaven, thank you for all the gifts you graciously give me. Amen.