And Moses said, “The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot; yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?”
23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”
This conversation takes place between the Lord and Moses after the people were crying and asking “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” God had provided them with manna which was the food of angels but they weren’t satisfied. Their crying and complaining angered Moses who turned to God. He was so upset that he too complained that God had afflicted him by placing the burden of caring for all of those people. He had no idea where he was going to get the food that they were crying out for. “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”
God told Moses to tell the people “Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?” ’ ”
Moses wondered how God was going to accomplish this. Were flocks and herds going to be slaughtered for them so that there would be enough to feed them or were all the fish of the sea going to be gathered together so that there was enough for them? In asking these questions, it may appear that Moses had his doubts and that is probably why God’s response was, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”
There are times when we doubt God and His ability to take care of us. We question and we complain. We can’t see how He could provide us with what we want. When we don’t get what we want, it isn’t because God is unable to give it to us. It is not the best thing for us. He has something better. The manna was better for the people of Israel but they didn’t think so. They wanted what they thought was better. So, God gave them what they asked for and too much of it. He sent quail and while the meat was still between their teeth, before they even had time to chew it, His wrath was aroused against them and He struck them with a very great plague. They died and were buried because they had yielded to craving.
God had given them bread from heaven to eat but they loathed it and thought it was worthless. God had given them His best but it wasn’t good enough for them. Are we that way, sometimes? We reject what God gives us because it isn’t what we want or think is good for us? How it must hurt Him when we do that.
God will always provide for us. Our attitude should be one of thankfulness. Instead of complaining because of what we don’t have, we should be grateful for what we have. Everything He gives us is good. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” – James 1:17
Today, is Thanksgiving in Canada. I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy one. Remember to give God thanks.