Thursday, September 18, 2008

One of the many reasons I love the stories of the people of Israel who went through the wilderness with Moses is that they're so, well, human. Like me. This week's text talks about the complaints of the people, over and over. Seven times, the text uses the word for complain, complaining, or complaint.

There are things in the world worth complaint. Hunger for one: the people had been walking for a month and half since they left Egypt. I can't blame them for having a few items on their list of things to grumble about. That's a long time to be hungry.

Heck, I can get grouchy from hunger in WAY less time.

So, they complain. And God hears their complaining. And God loves them and provides graciously for them.

Manna, a mysterious, flaky substance, rains down on them each day, providing sustenance for that day. And, on the day before the Sabbath, they can get what they'll need for two days.

I wonder how this gift of nourishment was received. I wonder if they were just glad for the food, or if they were a little ticked off that they had to let go of their complaints? If they quickly shifted their attitudes because of the gift, or if they wanted to hold on to their old ways of doing things?


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