Read Numbers 11 – 12
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. Numbers 11:1-2 KJV
I am amazed by what happens here. The people of Israel were only three days into their journey from Mount Sinai when they began to complain in a rebellious way against God. Nothing in the first ten chapters of Numbers prepares us for this. Instead we repeatedly read of the obedience of Moses and the organization of the people. I guess we are usually surprised by complaints. I would have thought with the completion of the Tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the nearness of the Promised Land that the excitement alone would have carried them much further in their journey. But I am reminded not much has changed among God’s people. We seem to go from blessing to complaining within a very short timeframe. How grateful we all must be that God responds to our complaints with mercy. As He showed mercy then, it is still only His mercy that keeps us from being consumed.
Lord, I humbly admit that my own heart seems too eager to murmur and complain. You have blessed me with so much and yet instead of just being grateful I complain about what I don’t have. Please forgive me. Thank you for being the God of mercy you are.