Sometime around October, the children and I began reading through the Bible together. It’s been a grand experiment, and as I’ve allowed my relationship with the children and my relationship with God/discipling my children to become the priority of our homeschool, our whole approach to schooling has changed. (That’s another post in the making though!)
We’ve finally hit Numbers. Our goal hasn’t been speed. It’s been to build the practice of reading every day. I have to remind myself of that.
Numbers chapter 12 is very interesting. It speaks some to human discontent and the wrath of God. Last summer, I took a Bible Study at church called Creative Correction, and the author speaks a little bit about this chapter. It was in a section of the book that discussed how grumbling and complaining is not complete obedience. Her point was that the Israelites grumbled and complained and God really “answered” their complaint. Her “Boy, did he ever answer” is now stuck permanently in my head when I think about these verses.
If you’re not familiar with this story, it starts with the Hebrews being unhappy with the food that God has provided them. They remember with fondness the food that they had in Egypt and wished that they’d never left Egypt. They had completely forgotten their slavery and their pain.
We do that too. When God is in motion in our lives, pulling (and dragging) us forward, we often look to some small joy in our past that makes us want to turn around and go backwards. We totally forget about the way we have grown and changed and how the life that we have now is better than the life that we used to live.
Moses is fed up with the children of Israel this time. He does quite a bit of his own grumbling and complaining. He goes to the Lord and tells him that he wants nothing to do with being the sole caretaker of these spoiled children. He even goes so far as to tell the Lord that it would be better if he killed him than if he leaves him completely in charge of these children.
The anger of the Lord is stirred. He says he’ll send them quail…so much quail that they’ll be sick of quail. He does. Imagine dead quail as far as the eye can see. You can spend your whole day just walking in quail.
Before the Israelites can even consume the quail, the Lord also sends a terrible plague. He kills the complainers, the ones who were stirring up trouble.
Today, as we read this story, Rose asked me, “Why? Why would God do such a thing?”
I told her that when we complain and grumble about what the Lord has provided us with that we are really taking the good gifts of the Lord for granted.
I told her that God didn’t have to give them quail and that God never had to do anything for us. He doesn’t have to give us any of the good gifts that we have.
I felt the sting of conviction.
Over the past six to eight months, we’ve been going through one minor emergency after another. The Lord has always provided a solution.
Sometimes, I wish he would provide the solution in more abundance. I’m not satisfied with what he gives me.
Today, we had a car break. We have no clue if we can provide funds to fix it or if it’s even worth fixing.
At first I was inclined to panic. Then, I remembered all that God has provided for us. I remembered that there’s never been a situation in the past that he hasn’t brought us through…and he’s brought us through a lot this year.
I can count on him to supply my need. I don’t need to grumble and whine and beg for quail.