And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” (Exodus 16:3-4)
When we read this, it is easy to imagine that they very well may have been without any food or any source for food. The reality is, when they left Egypt, they did not leave one hoof behind. They came out of Egypt with flocks and herds which means they had a food source. Why this was not mentioned in their complaint is mysterious unless we are to understand that, it wasn’t just a craving for food that incited them; it was a craving for the food of Egypt.
They longed for the bread and “pots of meat” they consumed while in Egyptian bondage, apparently forgot about the tyranny and oppression they lived under. Their perceived lack in the wilderness provoked them to focus on what Egypt had to offer. When you consider that the Hebrew words translated as “pots of meat” is literally “flesh pots,” the issue is quite clear. They allowed the appetites of the flesh to override their duty to the Creator, not to mention their trust. In the end, they compared God’s provision with Pharaoh’s provision and concluded that God came up short.
Once again we are reminded that we should learn from the mistakes God’s people have made in the past. By that I mean, should we find that those things we have grown accustomed to in modern culture be removed, and we are forced to look to God as the only source for provision, let us not devolve into a grumbling, complaining multitude. We must overcome our flesh and look to Him, knowing that He will provide our daily physical bread and the strength to grow spiritually. Just as then, He is looking for those who will obey Him whether or not they have everything they want; He is looking for those who will be content to receive from Him what we need.
Blessings and Shalom,