“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’”
―Numbers 11:4–6, NIV
Many of us grew up praying the time-honored table blessing, “God is Great. God is Good.” It’s a simple prayer that expresses a profound truth―God is good and the provider of all.
How many times after blessing a meal have you scooped a generous helping of Brussels sprouts or other healthy option on your child’s plate to the tune of “What’s that?” With a scrunched face, pinched nose, and gagging sounds, your child pled for something else. It’s enough to make a mother want to resign from kitchen duty, and yet, adults can be found scooting their chairs up to the Lord’s table with the same ungrateful hearts and demanding attitudes.
God provided daily for the Israelites in the wilderness, and yet, they forgot his goodness. They forgot the One who brought them out of Egypt, guided them with a cloud by day and fire by night, parted the Red Sea, brought forth water from a rock, and rained down bread from heaven.
To the tune of “What’s that?” God’s children stomped their dry-cracked feet in the dust, raised their sun-scorched faces toward heaven, and demanded the food they craved. “Can God really spread a table in the desert?” They not only forgot God’s provision and asked for something more, they doubted His continued ability to provide.
I wish I could say that as a mature believer I’ve outgrown table tantrums, but the fact is, I still know how to throw one. When I give ear to the rabble around me, I can turn up my nose at the table God prepares and hunger after the world’s fare―a menu that will never satisfy my desires. Instead of coming to him with a grateful heart, I come echoing, “What’s that?” and “If only I had…”
Grumbling is a sign of a depressed appetite for the things of God. Have we bought into the slick, mouth-watering promotions of this world and forgotten that God withholds no good thing from his children? Do we reject his best and cry out for something we deem more palatable?
Coming to the table with a grateful and expectant heart not only conveys our gratitude for the provision, but our appreciation for the One who provides and prepares it. Let’s trust God with our appetites and never forget to thank him. He is truly good.