Trip to the Bakery

Monday, February 22, 2021


Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!”

Numbers 11: 4 (ESV) 

I’m one of five children. As the second eldest, I was old enough to go to the bakery to buy fresh-baked bread for breakfast and snacks. The bakery was a good half a mile away from our home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

I wasn’t always excited to make that trip. Because I was the kid who woke up the earliest, I was often asked to go to the bakery. 

One day, my mom heard me murmur about my trip to the bakery. She reminded me of how seriously God takes murmuring. She also reminded me of what happened to the Israelites when they murmured in Numbers 11. In order to send me with a good thought, she quoted Philippians 2:14 (Do all things without grumbling or disputing…)

My mother’s reminder not to complain was a deep conviction of hers. She successfully passed conviction to me because she used Bible verses as a teaching tool. As an adult, I’ve been studying the Bible for a few years.

Every time study Numbers 11, I pause and ask, “what kind of mess is this?!” Here are formerly enslaved people who have seen God’s amazing signs and wonders complaining about their bellies being full.

Oh, they were not hungry. They just didn’t have the variety of food they had back in Egypt. Here’s what they said:

We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:5-6 (ESV) 

Foreal? The fish cost you nothing? I think that their complaints made them forget about how cruel their task masters were in slavery. They made them work hard and they were especially hideous when they were getting ready to be set free. Those people wanted past nourishment when God was serving them supernatural bread from heaven.

We do the same thing. Our complaints blind us from seeing how God delivered us in the past so we can enjoy His current provision. God didn’t take them out of Egypt to let them die of hunger. That’s not His character. He delivered them to a land that flows with milk and honey. There was protection of every kind on the way there. 

All they had to do was to give God their undivided, inexcusable obedience. 

Why is it so hard to believe that a good God wants the best for us? Meditate on this truth today. 

My challenge for you today is to identify the source of your complaining. I bet it might be a strong craving. Your complaining is a side-effect of something that only God can fully provide. So let’s ask Him to do just that. 

Prayer: God in heaven, you are good. Forgive me for forgetting your great deliverances in the past. You have been so good to me and I forget that when I complain. Forgive me I pray. Put a new song in my mouth so I can praise you daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.