The people complain.

You will find that, as a rule, those who complain about the way the ball bounces are usually the ones who drop it. (Source Unknown)

Complaining

The human heart is so sinful that it soon forgets God’s blessings, ignores God’s promises, and finds fault with God’s provisions. Just three days after the great praise service by the Red Sea, the people complained against Moses and God because they didn’t have water to drink (Ex. 15:22-27). Now, three days after leaving Sinai they complain again about hardships (v. 1), and about the lack of meat (v. 4). It says that “the mixed multitude” complained. This “mixed multitude” refers to a mixed crowd of Egyptians and others who followed Israel out of Egypt.

The Jews had experienced a miracle six mornings a week when “the bread of heaven” (Psa. 78:24) fell in their camp and provided all the food they needed for the day. However, perhaps influenced by the “mixed multitude,” many of the Jews got tired of their diet and tried to improve on God’s recipe (v. 8). Instead of being satisfied with what God had provided, they wanted the food they had enjoyed in Egypt. They had forgotten the bondage of Egypt and remembered only the things that pleased the flesh. They didn’t ask God to fill their need; instead they demanded meat and they stopped trusting God to care for them.

How tragic it is when professed believers in churches crave substitutes that the world has to offer instead of desiring the heavenly manna of the Word of God (John 6:60-69). In trying to attract and please the “mixed multitude,” churches have turned their sanctuaries into places of entertainment and their ministries into mere performances. Moses had been singing triumphantly about the Lord (10:35-36), but after hearing the people complain, it was not long before he was lamenting about what the Lord had called him to do. The people complained to one another and nothing was accomplished.  Moses took his complaint to God who could solve any problem. Many of us are good at complaining to each other instead of taking our problem to the One who can do something about it.

Application

It is so easy to take my eyes off the Lord and focus on myself. Lord help me to keep focused on You.

Numbers 11:1-15 (English Standard Version)

And the people complained in the hearing of the LORD about their misfortunes, and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, "Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at." Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people went about and gathered it and ground it in handmills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it. Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the LORD, "Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,' to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness."

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