Like the Hebrews, who posted pictures of their favorite foods from Egypt on Instagram, we focus on what we want. Our deprivation increases our desire.
This reveals our discontent, a sign that our problem is a spiritual one. Psalm 78 says “they tested God in the heart by demanding the food they craved.”
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” they asked.
The remarkable answer, or course, is yes, then and now. He “rained down on them manna to eat” and “man ate the bread of heaven.” If that were not enough, “he rained meat on them like dust” for “he gave them what they craved.”
This a complicated story of rebellion, judgment, revival, promise. You can read that yourself. But the bottom line is “their heart was not steadfast toward him.”
Yet. There is a big yet in this story. And the yet is not about our heart but his. “Yet. He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them.” The story of Scripture is the story of yet, the story of God’s mercy, how he “restrained his anger often.”
He does this every day, whether we are in the wilderness or not. For “he remembered that they were but flesh.” He understands my weakness better than I understand his power. This is comforting. And compelling. How can we not be content with the bread of heaven?
Or a God like this?