Here’s your miracle
18 Then you shall say to the people, Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, Who will give us meat to eat? For it waswell with us in Egypt. Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat.19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days,20 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?
- Numbers 11:18-20
There are sections of the Bible when God comes across as a little snarky. The last few chapters of Job spring to mind as an especially good example, but this section of Numbers does a fine job of it as well. The Israelites have complained, moaned, whined, and moped about not having the things that they had back in Egypt, specifically meat. Moses even said to God that leading all these people is too hard, and if you love me, you will kill me so I don’t have to deal with it anymore.
How does God respond? In abundance. God says, “Oh, you want meat. Here you go. I’ll give you so much meat to eat over the next month that it will be coming out of your nose. By the end of this month you’ll hate meat so much you won’t want it anymore. All because you complained about how bad you have it now, when you used to be slaves.” (Paraphrase and emphasis all mine)
God drops another load of snark on Moses in the next passage as well.
21 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 Lords arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.
- Numbers 11:21-23
Moses responded to God by acting as if Moses had to fulfill what God said he would do. Were God surprised by this at all (and being omnipotent I’m sure He wasn’t) I can imagine a feeling of incredulousness sweeping over Him. God, the all-powerful being who was providing them manna every morning and had guided them out of Egypt has suddenly become powerless to Moses? God told him what to do, and then Moses thought it was up to him to secure all the supplies needed. This amounts to a fair bit of hubris on Moses part, and maybe this is what God was trying to teach Moses.
In our lives, how often do we approach problems the same way? God gives us a task to do, whether through our jobs, our homes, our families, our church, or any of a myriad of things, and we find ourselves fretting and moping that we have to do it all ourselves. As God said to Moses, do we believe that the Lords arm has been shortened, that He can no longer reach us or our needs? If God gives us a task, He will be faithful to provide us with the tools and support that we need to accomplish it. Whether it is money, time, people, resources, whatever it might be, God will provide it for us.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we sit back and wait for the materials to show up at our door either. We pray and we seek God for the things that we need. Just like He was faithful to provide manna for the Israelites each day, God will be faithful to provide for our lives as well.
I just hope he doesn’t show up at my doorstep with 30 days worth of quail. I don’t want meat coming out my nose.