All This in the Desert?
This morning’s reading including Numbers 28. I already know from previous chapters that the number of Israelites in the “desert/wilderness” was over 600,000 men over age 20. When you add their families to this number A reasonable estimate of the number of people is 1.5 million. I know that God provided manna for them to eat while in the desert and made water to flow from rocks when they got dry. Sounds like a pretty start existence!
Then I read Numbers 28. The verse which got my attention is three. They were to offer two lambs every day for a continual burnt offering. The first question I need to ask is, “How long have they been in the desert when this command was given? Was this offering to be give after they entered the land?” It sounds to me like they had their flocks and herds with them. What about the grain offering that went with the two lambs? Then there was the oil and the drink offering. Where did they get all of these provisions. Not only did the people have to eat but their animals as well. I’m thinking that God not only provided manna, for the people to eat, but the grain and other food for the animals as well as for the offerings.
When I read the Pentateuch previously, I never thought about this. I read about the egregious miracles, the manna, the water, the qail, the pillar of fire and of smoke. But the fact that this people, maybe 2 million strong with their animals, was sustained by God for forty years. Still they grumbled. Still their faith was not strong enough to obey God and take the land in the manner prescribed. What a wicked people!
Are we any different today? God sustains us in ways that we aren’t aware of or ignore, and then we blame Him when we don’t get what we want.