Don’t start whining…
I hate whining.
When my kids were little, i learned early on that I wasn’t a fan of whining. And repeated whining — or repeated questions – really set my teeth on edge. My solution?
I established my “3-Time Rule.” If you’ve already asked – and gotten my answer – that should be the end of it. But, if you give me some time and space, and you then want to come back and revisit the issue? Fine. I’ll rethink and let you know.
But, it you come back a 3rd time, that’s too much entirely. I will not reconsider. There is no more discussion, and I’d better not hear any more about it.
God’s people and their whining
I’m thirsty! –
After the Red Sea adventure and a 3-day walk, Israel reached their 1st stop. But the waters at Marah were bitter, and the multitude started whining. (STARTED being the key word here.)
I get it: 3 days of desert walking and now the only water source where we camp tastes bad? I’d grumble, too. The thing is, Goid had just provided an unimaginable exit across a sea and destroyed the chasing army by controlling nature. (Read about that here.) Did the people lose sight of that in just 3 days?
And instead of whining about it to Moses (and each other, no doubt), why didn’t they simply ASK for relief? There’s a difference between whining and asking, you know.
God’s answer: We’ll, Moses prayed, and God had him toss a tree into the water. It worked! God healed the water! And it wasn’t just a temporary healing. Those waters are still sweet.
God’s people packed food for their journey, and they brought along cattle for sacrifices AND for food. Their journey SHOULD NOT have taken 40 years. (But that’s not today’s focus.)
Egyptian tradition holds that slaves were well-fed. After all, if a slave is weak from hunger, they won’t be able to do the work, right? But in the wilderness, the freed slaves began to long for the better food from Egypt. So, the whining started up again. And, again, Moses prayed.
God’s answer: His glory lit up the pillar of cloud and He responded to the whining for food. The hungry travelers looked toward the wilderness as God told Moses that they would eat quail that night. They did. The quail dropped from the sky and covered the camp. AND God sent bread from heaven! Manna was provided with the morning dew. Exodus 15:4, tells us the honey-sweet grains came with a couple of rules as a test of their obedience.
- Collect only what you need each day.
- If you try to save the extra, it will rot overnight and get worms. Did some of them try this anyway? Yep, and they failed the test.
- Get double on the 6th day because there won’t be any on the 7th (Sabbath) because it is a day of rest. This one-night-only allowed the storage of the manna without it spoiling. They did put a measure of it before God in the Tabernacle, too. (Ex. 16:4) And, by the way, when they reached the Promised Land and began to eat its food, the manna-dew stopped.
What it means for me:
- I need to count my blessing and stop my whining. God has done so much for me! But like those weary travelers, I am often too quick to forget that when things get hard.
- I need to ask God to supply all my needs. (Phil. 4:6-7)
- I must do my part. Just as Israel had to collect the manna daily, I need to spend time daily in God’s Word and prayer to be fed spiritually.
- God gave me bread, too. Jesus Christ is MY Bread of Life. My Bread of Heaven. Using this name was significant to the Jews because this story was deeply engrained in their culture.
- A tree saved me as well. The cross provided healing from a bitter sinful world and unlocked sweet peace to those who believe. Learn more here.