I Can Hear You Grumbling


I don’t know about you, but I love a good sale. Finding a deal always gets me excited, no matter what it is. I rarely even have a need for whatever “it” is—but if it’s a deal, I’ll take it. And if one is good, then three of them should be better, right? Alas, many a pile of donation items at my house came from my “deals.” But I don’t think it’s just me. It seems we’re a society that collects “stuff.” Our acquisition mode seems to be driven by a fear that we won’t have enough. Problem is, we really don’t have a good definition of “enough,” so we’re constantly in acquisition mode.

  • Do you find yourself acquiring more than you really need, out of fear you might not have enough?


9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What is the common phrase in verses 9 and 12?
  2. What was God’s response to the grumbling?
  3. How did the Israelites disobey the specific commands given to them by Moses? How is this a reflection of human nature?
  4. How does being in acquisition mode change your relationship with God?


The Israelites grumbled, and in the midst of their grumbling, God showed them grace by giving them gifts. He showered them with enough meat and bread to provide their daily needs. But the fear of not having enough took over; they acquired more than they needed, and it rotted. The gift turned into a possession and the giver was squeezed out of the picture. The people were left with a gift no longer thought of as a gift, but as something deserved. Unfortunately, much like the Israelites, we tend to do this with God’s good gifts as well. Thankfully, the Lord knows everything we need, and he will provide enough for today. Tomorrow is a new day, with possibility of new gifts.

  • Pray to live differently as you completely trust in the Lord’s provision today.
  • Pray to live without the fear that God might forget you or your needs tomorrow.