Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
Nobody liked the liver; we all knew that. It was one thing for the kids to stare at their dinner plates with disgust when we had tasty food like rice and chicken or spaghetti and meatballs. We were finicky and moody, and our tastes were not mature and sophisticated. It was quite another story when everyone clearly had to force themselves to get through the meal. I often wondered why my father insisted on these regular liver dinners when even he surely would have preferred anything else. I figured it was out of some strange punishment or a way to assert authority and control over the home. The truth was that he thought it was really healthy, and he had decided that it was best for us to put our tastes aside for the sake of good nutrition.
Our Father in heaven is not impractical. He considers things in a logical manner. His ways do not always make sense to us, but they always make sense. Manna was the perfect food. Everything the people needed was right there in those precious little flakes. They appeared on the ground in the morning and only had to be collected. The flakes would not survive the evening except leading into the Sabbath day, so the supply was fresh daily. Yet, this perfect sustenance in the form of bread was not what the people wanted. They desired the aromas and flavors of what they considered to be choice foods. They wanted God to lay out a king’s banquet, but God was practical in his miracle without being extravagant as people would define extravagance.
If we have the right perspective, we will realize that God’s manna from heaven was indeed extravagant. There is no other way to describe this miracle bread that tasted like wafers and honey and the love that poured it out for the people for forty years. God gave his people, actually handfed his people, perfect sustenance for a generation. No choice meat or fish or fruit or vegetables can compare to that. We have to make sure we are not chasing what we consider choice foods when God is laying heavenly manna right before us every day. One will sustain us, but the other just may spoil us. Father, give us discernment to see and wisdom to choose your manna and not desire what others try to convince us is the real choice food.