Here's the backstory for this Sunday's Old Testament reading. Moses and the Hebrews have left Egypt, miraculously crossed the Red Sea and escaped Pharaoh's army, and now are in the Sinai Desert. When they run out of supplies, Moses leads them to water and God provides them with manna ("bread from heaven") and quail - not too shabby in the middle of a desert.
But after a few months, they forget about how much weight they're losing on God's all-you-can-eat manna and quail diet and how great they look, and start whining about how disgusted they are with "this wretched food!" Here's the scorecard:
· Freedom from slavery? Check.
· Saved from a pursuing army? Check.
· Food and water in the desert? Check.
· Grateful for what they have? Not so much.
Sometimes, it can be hard to understand the cultural differences between the people of the Bible and ourselves. This isn't one of those times. They were just as prone to take things for granted, and just as likely to whine when things weren't exactly how they wanted them, as we are.
More on this tomorrow.