God gave the Israelites manna for food as they traveled through the wilderness towards the promised land of Canaan. He sent down this bread from heaven for His people because He heard their grumbling. Yet the whole community still murmured against Moses and Aaron.
Even after they had experienced deliverance from the land of slavery by God’s great hand, the people grumbled constantly to Moses about the lack of food. The Israelites had manna to eat. In comparison to the sumptuous meals they had enjoyed back in Egypt, however, manna seemed too plain and unappetizing. The Bible describes manna as thin, white flakes, like coriander seed and with the taste of wafers made with honey (Ex 16:14,31). It wasn’t long before the people cried out to God for meat to satisfy their hunger (Numbers 11:4-6).
We resemble the Israelites in many ways. God also has delivered us from Egypt, from the bondage of sin. We are now walking in the wilderness on our journey of faith. And the Lord has poured down the spiritual manna, His Word, to sustain us. Sometimes, however, we compare the things we possess to all the beautiful enticements the world has to offer. As we compare, we feel that what we have is not as exciting as the things of the world. Our desire for the enjoyment of the flesh then drives us just as it did the Israelites, and we can never be content with what God has given us.
If the Israelites knew how to be grateful, and satisfied with the manna from heaven, they would not have grumbled for meat. God gave them what was sufficient to sustain them through their journey in the wilderness. They were constantly under the care of God, lacking in nothing.
Their attitude reminds us to be thankful and content with the things we have. God, who understands all of our daily needs, has wonderfully prepared for us all things and will provide in our time of need. We need to constantly count our blessings and not grumble against Him. For we know that God will sustain us with His manna—His words and blessings—until we complete our journey through the wilderness and enter into the promised land of eternal peace.