“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.” Exodus 16:11-12
Even in the wilderness, God provides. When man is rebellious, unruly, and ungrateful God is still in the business of providing.
When God led Israel out of slavery from Egypt and into the wilderness many perished due to disobedience, and not due to lack of supply. Of the generation that left Egypt under the mighty power and hand of God, only two made it into the Promised Land many years later, Joshua and Caleb.
If 3 million Israelites crossed the Red Sea their camp would have spanned 750 square miles. They would have required 4,000 tons of food each day. Today it would have taken two miles of train daily to deliver that much food. They would have needed 11 million gallons of water each day just for drinking and cooking. The total cost in today’s dollars would reach $50-75 million per day to take care and provide for the Israelite nation in the wilderness. God provided all of this each day for 40 years. Israel did not suffer because of a lack of provision from God. Israel suffered because of disobedience. In spite of all the blessings, protection, and provision Israel never humbled themselves before God and simply submitted themselves to Him.
Instead, Israel found themselves in constant complaining, ingratitude, and idolatry. Think of all that God provided for Israel. He guided them day and night. Israel had their own God-designed navigation system. Food, water, and clothing were never a problem, and they were well protected. But the most amazing part of their provision was the fact that Israel had the presence of Jesus with them at all times, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ,”(1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus was their provision. So, Israel’s problem was not a lack of physical or spiritual blessing. Israel’s problem was ingratitude that came from within themselves.
God desires to and will provide for us, and His provision is designed to help us to rely on Him in all situations. Our challenge is accepting God’s ways of doing things as opposed to ours. We like things our way—the comfortable way. God will meet our needs in the way He sees necessary in order to bring he greatest benefit to our lives. It’s not just about meeting physical needs, but enabling spiritual growth at the same time.