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The Grumble-Mumble People
The Grumble-Mumble People
Moses and the Hebrew people were safe on the other side of the Red Sea. God had promised to lead them to a wonderful land. But first they had to go through a wilderness. No trees. No gardens. No roads. No houses. No stores. No water. Just wilderness.
They followed the pillar of cloud on - and on - and ON. And after awhile they began to get thirsty. And they began to grumble. "Water!" they cried. Grumble-mumble-grumble. "We should have stayed in Egypt." Grumble-mumble. And then -
"Water!" someone shouted, up ahead. And they all rushed up ahead, to see. Sure enough, there was water - beautiful wet water, shining in the sun! They shouted for joy - they ran toward it - they cupped their hands and drank some and - aughhhhhhhhhh! It was BITTER! It was so bitter they couldn't possibly drink it.
And then they did a shameful thing. They forgot how good God had been to them and they began to grumble.
"Are you trying to kill us?" they cried as they screwed up their faces. "We should have stayed in Egypt," they wailed as they puckered up their lips.
But Moses didn't grumble. He knew that GOD could help them. So instead of grumbling, he asked God what to do. And God told him. And this is what Moses did.
He went to look for a tree. Not just ANY old tree. It was a SPECIAL tree God had told him about. And he - hup - got that tree and brought it back to the water. And the people watched. And he - hup! threw it into the water. And the people watched. And they waited. And then Moses said, "Drink!"
They went-up-to-the-water-and-tasted it, just a LITTLE. Slp. Then they tasted it again. More, this time. GULP.
It was sweet. It was pure. It was DELICIOUS!
They drank and DRANK. And for awhile, they were happy again. They followed the cloud on and ON. And after awhile, their food was all used up. They began to be hungry. And again they began to grumble. "Food!" they cried. Grumble-mumble-grumble. "Do you want to kill us? We should have stayed in Egypt!"
But Moses didn't grumble. Again he asked God what to do. And when God had told him, he called all the people together.
"Why do you grumble?" cried Moses. "God is still taking care of you. At night you shall have meat to eat - and in the morning, God will rain down bread from heaven for you!"
Meat! Bread from heaven! They stopped grumbling, and waited. And when evening came -
Suddenly, thousands and thousands of birds, called quail, came flying across the sky. So many of them that they looked like a huge black cloud. And flying so low that the people could reach right up with their hands and catch them! They ate and ATE.
And next morning when they got up - there all over the ground - were little white round things that looked like seeds. "Manna?"* they wanted to know. [*Which means "What is it?"]
"It's the bread from heaven that God promised you," said Moses.
"Manna?" they said, as they tasted it. It was sweet, like little cakes made with honey. "Manna!" they cried, as they gathered it. It was GOOD.
"You must gather only as much as you need each day," said Moses. "And you must gather it early in the morning."
But some of the people disobeyed. "There might not BE any here tomorrow morning," they said. Grumble-mumble. And they gathered a lot extra. But the next day, all that they had left over - was SPOILED.
And some of the people were lazy. "Early in the morning is too EARLY," they said. Mumble-grumble. And they waited till later in the day. But the sun came out and melted the manna - and later in the day - it was GONE.
On the day before the Sabbath, Moses told them they must gather TWICE as much, and God wouldn't let it spoil. For on the Sabbath, God wanted them to rest. Sure enough - it didn't spoil - and sure enough - on the Sabbath, there wasn't any manna on the ground.
And so - even though they were the grumbliest-mumbliest people you could imagine - God took care of them and fed them every day. But they had to follow his instructions and obey him - or they didn't have any food to thank him FOR!

Can you think of times when you've grumbled and God has given you something anyhow? Did it make you feel a little sheepish? Can you think of times when there might be a wee little excuse for grumbling? Does the Bible have anything to say about this? (Philippians 2:14)
"In every thing give thanks" (I Thess. 5:18).