Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuna or Manna?

I really don’t like tuna. Even white, water packed. I think it goes back to 1951 when we moved from California to Oklahoma. Just before we moved, my uncle caught two large tuna. Mom and my aunt canned every edible piece of those fish, which is a bit of a stinky job anyway.

My grandmother was recovering from a heart attack so Mom and Dad decided to move back to be closer to her. Daddy was a roofer and expected to find work rather easily. But Oklahoma was not growing as quickly as California and his plans changed. For a while, we lived on that canned tuna. Nutritious, filling but after a while, not nearly as tasty. Substitute an ‘n’ for one of those ‘t’s and it would match my description of tuna.

Others felt the same way about a certain food. Maybe the fish they remembered was tuna?

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. (Numbers 11:5-6 KJV)

Every morning when they got up, there it was.

And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it. (Numbers 11:8-9 KJV)

The people complained. Apparently they complained long and loud!

Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? (Numbers 11:10-11 KJV)

Doesn’t that sound like us? We miss the old, comfortable, sinful world we promised God we’d leave behind – and become unhappy with what we’re given?

How like Moses we are, too. Moses didn’t tell the people to shape up and get to work. No, instead, he complains to God about the burden of all the people God laid on his shoulders. Again, doesn’t that sound like us? We accept God’s gift, then complain when we’re expected to put them to use for Him.

So, as Moses did, we complain that we can’t handle what life has done to us:

I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. (Numbers 11:14 KJV)

Careful – what you pray for, you might receive.

Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: (Numbers 11:19-20a KJV)

So they traded manna for quail.

Just what do we expect from God? When we receive it, is it appreciated? Do we use it for His glory, or our own? Why?

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