3 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.”
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “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.’”
27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.”
Exodus 16:3, 11-12, 27-29 (New International Version)
Running to Sin
Each of us have a sinful habit that we turn to when things get rough in our walk with God. They come in all shapes and sizes from over indulgences in food to excessive drug use. Such activities are counterproductive to our faith, so why do we always go to them when things get difficult? It is because our instinctual reaction to pain is to run away from it and seek out that which is comfortable to us. Unfortunately, whether we like to admit it or not, our flesh finds the most comfort when it indulges in sin.
That was the case for the children of Israel in Exodus 16. After traveling in the wilderness for many the days, the Israelites began to grumble against Moses and the Lord. The reason for their grumbling was hunger, but not just any kind of hunger. Their desire was for the foods that they had in Egypt, the food of bondage. Their hunger pains were so great, that they were willing to go back into bondage and die so that they could have the food that they so craved.
A Miracle of God
Hearing their complaint, the Lord performed another miracle in their sight. He gave to the children of Israel manna and quail to eat, and their grumbling stopped. In doing this, the Almighty was teaching them an important lesson. When God has called you to do His will, you can’t go back to the sinful life that you used to have. Instead you must move forward, trusting that the Almighty will provide for you; even in the difficult times.
Training in Faith
Like Israel, we Christians have been called by God to walk in His ways. As we learn to be more like our Lord and Savior, we will face difficult moments which will cause us to complain due to the little faith that we have in God, and we begin to long for the life that we had before Christ. Fortunately, God is well aware of our weaknesses and with great patience trains us to rely more on Him and less on our sinful past.
An example of this faith training was when God provided manna and quail to Israel. Even though they complained against Him, the Almighty showed grace to them and gave them what they needed. He did this to show them that He can take care of them and if they trust Him, He will bless them with even more.
Therefore, when things get difficult, we must not run back to sin. Instead, we must turn to the Lord and trust that He will provide for us. This will not be easy and there will be times when we will grumble over the pain we are experiencing. Nevertheless, God is faithful and He will provide for us through His miraculous power in the face of our complaints. Let us allow the miracles that He performs in our lives remove complaint from our hearts and build a trust in God that will move mountains.