“Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.’” (Exodus 16:8, NIV)
The Children of Israel in today’s scripture were not long in the desert after being delivered from slavery in Egypt before they began to grumble (defined as “bitter complaining in a muted or indirect way”) about their life, their lot, and their prospects. Some began to question the wisdom of the exodus as the historical revisionists amongst them argued that their former life in Egypt really wasn’t that bad.
Had they forgotten the promises of God as quickly as they had forgotten the visible evidence of God’s power in the plagues on the Egyptians, His presence in the miraculous exit from Egypt, and His provision as they entered the desert without the wherewithal for an extended sojourn? God had not deserted them, but through their increasingly negative attitudes and utterances, they had deserted God.
For the disciple of Jesus, to grumble about our life, our lot, or our prospects — even if the intended objects of our indictment are our leaders, our neighbors, or even our friends — is, actually, an indictment of God. The antidote to such negativity is to remember evidence of the power of God in your own life; to remember the presence of God in all of your circumstances (past and present); and to remember the faithful and timely provision of God when all of our resources had been exhausted. – Luther