By Mary Vee
Today's story tells Moses' side of the story:
As leader of the Israelite people, I must admit the people's grumblings and rumors about all their problems bothered me. God has done so much for us, why can't they be content?
Sure, life in the desert isn't easy. And I understand living in one place while serving Egyptian masters might seem easier than packing a tent and trekking to the next place God chose for us to camp; but we're free. God freed us from our bondage!
We have no official army. Egyptian slaves couldn't have an army. And that's all we've been for the last 400 years. We aren't prepared to march into a city and conquer it. The Lord knows.
I'm convinced God has a plan for us. He'll provide everything we need and give us time to organize into a solid people. We need to be patient.
I'm thankful for my brother, Aaron, who listens and shares ideas with me. I've talked with him so many times. Big brothers are helpful in that way.
One day the grumblings grew extra loud. The people gathered together and stormed to my tent. They all shouted at once and raised their fists toward me. "Moses! We would have been better off being killed by the Lord in Egypt. At least we had meat in our pots and bread in our stomachs. You led us to the desert to kill us with famine."
I couldn't get a word in edgewise. When they finshed yelling, they stormed back to their tents. My heart pounded. I'm not sure if I was angry at them for disrespecting God or hurt that they didn't appreciate what God did for them. Aaron put his hand on my shoulder and gave me a big brother smile.
I walked a ways from the camp to talk with God. He let me tell Him what the people said, even though He already knew.
He paitiently waited for me to finish talking then said, "It's okay, Moses. I will rain bread from heaven for you." I closed my eyes and pictured bread raining from the sky and smiled. God has great ideas and sometimes His solutions make me laugh. He then said, "The people will go out and gather a certain amount. It will be a test to see if they are ready to obey my instructions. On the sixth day the people are to gather twice the amount."
He also told me there would be meat in the evening. The instructions didn't seeem difficult to obey.
I returned to the camp and told Aaron what the Lord said, then we gathered the people. Aaron told them the message; but I made sure the people knew that although God would send bread and meat their complaint was against the Lord and not us.
When Aaron finished telling the people God's instructions, I said, "Tell them to come near before the Lord, for He has heard their complaints."
Everyong looked toward the wilderness and gasped at the sight. The glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.
Have you complained about something then suddenly realized Dad, Mom, teacher, or someone else was listening? The Israelites probably had that same queezy feeling in their stomachs. They probably thought only Moses heard them yelling.
When we complain, God hears. God wants us to trust Him and ask Him for help, not complain.
1. What was the children of Israel's complaint?
2. What did Moses do?
3. What did God want the people to do?
4. Who did God give to Moses as a helper?
5. Why did the people gasp?