Today I was reading Numbers chapter 11. I have to say that I was "feeling" Moses. The people are complaining because all they have to eat is manna. Does that sound familiar to anyone? My adopted daughter exclaims, "I don't like that." almost every night at dinner. It doesn't matter if she ate a bunch of the same meal last time I made it. She must complain about the meal every night.
Well here is Moses and the people really want meat, in fact they are reminiscing about all of the scrumptious food they had in Egypt. However, God knows they are really complaining about His provision for them, and He is more than just a little upset with their attitudes. In fact, "the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp."
Go ahead mom, pat yourself on the back. You may have over reacted once or twice to your child's complaints, but at least you didn't set their room on fire! That being said, God is God and He has the right to set the camp on fire if He wants to. I guess this does justify our hurt and anger.
Now here is where I start to feel Moses. The people keep whining at him and this is what he says to God. (My paraphrase) "What did I ever do to deserve this?" Yes, I've asked God that too. Moses says, "Are you unhappy with me, God? I didn't even conceive these people, nor was I there when they were born and were infants." Now that definitely applies to an adopted child. Although, I don't think I've ever brought that up in my conversations with God, but it made me laugh that Moses did.
God's response is to have Moses find 70 elders that will help him bear the "burden" i.e. the peoples complaints. I'd like to have 70 other people to send my kids to for the purpose of complaining. Sigh. Anyway, God then sends these ungrateful people quail. He tells Moses that He will give them meat for a whole month. I love God's response when Mosses tries to point out the enormous undertaking it will be to feed 600,000 people. In verse 23 God says, "Is the LORD's power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not." Yep, I need that reminder often too. And man, does He send the quail. They fell beside the camp as far away from it as a days journey in at least two directions. And not only are the quail that far out from camp, but they are three feet deep. Imagine wading through that. Kind of like walking through your teenagers room, except that it's birds and not clothes or something gross.
Now here is something else that I can relate too, even though my daughter complains about what is being served, she manages to push her way past everyone else in the family to be the first one served. She would like to insist that she be served first every time. I find that kind of greedy. Well, the Israelites did the same thing. They went "hog wild" on all of those quail and gathered so much that, you guessed it, God was angry again. I get it, I really do. So instead of fire, God sends a severe plague. Some days that sounds like a great idea! It's nice to know that our father in heaven understands exactly how frustrated we are.