"Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused."
That is the first verse in Numbers 11. I simply have to shake my head in disbelief. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, for crying out loud! Forced to labor for others who may or may not have treated them very well. But now they were free, following God on a journey to the Promised Land and being provided by His hand every single step of the way!
And they had the nerve to complain!
Well, it's gets even better.
Sick of listening to the Israelites complaints, Moses has a major pity party in verses 10-15! I can't really blame him. I get tired of the Israelites just from reading about their complaining. I can't imagine having to listen to it day after day.
God, in his infinite patience with the Israelites and with Moses, says, "OK! I hear you!!" Instead of smacking their ungrateful butts like they deserved, God will give them what they want.
They were tired of manna. They were bored with the miraculous gift God gave them every single morning.
Sounds familiar, eh? Sorta reminds me of...me! And you! And everyone else who walks this planet! We've been given so much, yet we still complain. We've been offered His Son as a sacrifice for our own ugly sins, yet we trample on the cross every time we choose the world and it's lies over Truth.
So God will give them what they want. He'll send so many quail in the next month "until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it." (11:20) Be careful what you ask for, right? Although they didn't ask for it; they whined for it.
But Moses isn't sure God can handle this monumental task. After all, there are about 2 million people camped on the desert. Surely that's too many for God to feed. Right?
"The Lord answered Moses, "Is the Lord's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
Why in the world did Moses doubt God?! He'd witnessed miracle after miracle after miracle! And yet there he is, in verses 21 and 22, doubting God.
Do you doubt God? Do you wonder if He is up to answering the prayers you pray? Do you ask yourself whether or not you can depend on Him?
Quail fell from the sky on top of the Israelites. There were so many you couldn't walk for a day without tripping over them. But even though God gave them meat, he was still angry with their ungrateful hearts. He struck them with a severe plague and a lot of them died.
The lesson we can each take away from this story is: Don't doubt God! He is in control. He has a plan. Don't grumble and complain about it, but rather accept it with a grateful heart.