He let loose the east wind from the heavens
and by his power made the south wind blow.
He rained meat down on them like dust,
birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp,
all around their tents.
Have you ever been trapped in a dust storm? Let me tell you that it is something unbelievable and suffocating. The air becomes unbreathable and visibility is virtually reduced to zero. The color of the sky turns red or ocher, a layer of sand is spread over every surface and there is no way to determine when the weather phenomenon will come to an end. Now imagine the same storm but this time instead of dust what falls to the ground are birds, not any kind of birds but tasty quail. Imagine also that the quail layer covering the surface has a thickness of about one meter (three feet), ie we would be flooded almost to the waist by a sea of birds. I am sure that if you find you in a similar situation the first thing that would cross your mind would be Gee, what good opportunity to stock up my kitchen with meat! And at no cost! I am also sure that you would not go long without starting to collect as much as possible of the feathered booty.
The scene described above came to pass to Israel when they were in the desert after having escaped miraculously and spectacularly from the clutches of the Egyptians. But what happened was not a fluke. There was a compelling reason in that the people complained bitterly that they had no meat to eat. So annoying was the complaint that a point was reached where Moses, the visible leader of this great escape asked God to take his life. God responded by sending them plenty of meat which the Israelites gathered eagerly to later receive a strong discipline from the Lord as a consequence of the greed of the rebel nation. Let’s be careful of what we wish and never complain about anything that we believe we need. If what we believe we need is really necessary, God will provide in abundance according to his grace and mercy. If what we think we need is just a trivial wish we could be exposed to a severe discipline from the Lord. Let us learn to live with contentment so we do not fall into the trap of consumerism and excess. To God alone be the glory!