“Stop that bickering!” Growing up in a family of six kids, we heard those words often. With absolutely no disrespect intended, I almost wanted to halt my Bible reading in Numbers chapter 11 and reprimand Moses with those same words today.
As He was leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage and into the Promised Land, Moses faced daily challenges. The people were chronic complainers. That stressed Moses and angered God. On this occasion, they were crying out to Moses for meat. They were tired of God’s daily provision of manna, and that really displeased the Lord, and He destroyed some of them. Intense cravings and crying continued, causing God’s anger to increase. Moses, also upset with the people, started bickering with God: “Why have You afflicted your servant? Why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I beget them? Are thy my responsibility? Where am I going to get meat for them?…” God assured Moses that He would provide meat for them; not just for 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20 days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of their nostrils!
Not satisfied with God’s plan, Moses continued bickering, reminding God that there were 600,000 men. Where was He going to get that much meat? That’s when I wanted to interject: “Moses, STOP THAT BICKERING! Just stop it already! If God said He’ll provide meat for a month, He will! Period.” Reading on, I found that God stopped it by reminding Moses of His power and faithfulness: “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? (power) Now you will see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” (faithfulness)
Ouch! God showed me my own life, and it shames me to remember how often I, too, bicker with God. I read His promises, and like Moses, I ask Him how he’s going to pull it off. He assures me that He’ll handle the situation, and I remind Him how big my problem really is. Can He really take care of it? I bicker because it seems impossible. Thankfully, just as He did with Moses, God always has the last word. He reminds me: “Indeed I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11)
Assured of His power and faithfulness, my bickering ceases.