Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Leaving Mt. Sinai

By Mary Vee
Leviticus, Numbers 1-11:35

Joshua's Thoughts

I remember the day we dedicated the tabernacle to the Lord. The camp cheered throughout the night. During the days that followed we sat under the greatest teacher, the Lord, Himself. 

Through Moses, He taught His rules and commandments.  I enjoyed every class.

I practiced each new rule before allowing myself to fall asleep. During the day, I arrived first for class. God taught with patience. It took us a long time to understand and remember the rules.  He always knew when we could learn more.

One month and twenty days after Moses finished assembling the Tabernacle, our classes ended and the Lord's cloud rose high above the Tabernacle.  It wasn't sudden.  Moses warned everyone to pack their belongings for a journey.

I was ready to leave. We'd camped at the base of Mt. Sinai for about one year and I wanted to see the Promised Land.  Don't misunderstand. We needed the time to change from a group of Egyptian slaves to an Israelite people. We've learned to worship, work, and live with each other--at least most of us. Next, we needed to become a country in our land.  

We followed the cloud north for three days journey to the Wilderness of Paran where we set up camp.  A few people who traveled with us complained about not having meat.  We'd eaten manna that the Lord rained on the camp each day for quite some time. The few troublemakers walked about the camp stirring up others to demand meat until a large number complained to Moses.

Moses went off by himself to speak with the Lord.  He didn't look happy. When Moses returned he made an announcement, "The Lord will provide meat."  Instead of saying thank you or apologizing for complaining, they shouted, "It's about time," and grumbled other things.

That night, a great wind came from the direction of the sea.  We hid inside our tents and brought the animals inside for protection.  A few forgotten pots and tools blew away. After the wind quieted, we stepped outside our tents and found quail fluttering around the camp.  

The people looked to the east and found quail stacked about three feet high. We looked to the north, south, and west and found the birds stacked the same all around the camp.  The people grabbed their baskets to gather meat for their families.  I couldn't believe how greedy they acted. There was enough quail to feed all of us with much left over.

The greedy ones from our camp worked all night and the next day gathering all the meat they could carry. Some walked a mile in different directions from the camp to find the last of the quail. Women hurried to heat their pots to cook the meat for their families.  Without thanking the Lord first, they stuffed the meat into their mouths. But something strange happened as they took that first bite.  All the greedy ones became terribly sick and died.  

I walked over to Moses. He shook his head and whispered, "When will they ever learn to trust and obey the Lord?"

1.  Where did the people go after leaving Mt. Sinai?
2.  Who led them?
3.  What did the people want after arriving a the new place?
4.  Who did they complain to?
5.  What did God give them? How did He do it?
6.  Why did God punish the greedy people?

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