I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.
Today, I am reading and commenting on Numbers 11-13.
Shortly after leaving Mt Sinai the people of Israel began lamenting the fact that they no longer had access to all of the good food which was available in Egypt. As I was reading today I realized that this event occurred as the result of a build up of unresolved complaints, most, if not all, of which were extremely minor, even to the people making them. Despite having set up people to judge in “legal” disputes among the people, Moses was still the go-to guy for spiritual counseling. That is not quite the right way to express that, because it makes it seem like something the priests could address, but it was not the sort of things you would go to a priest about. The people knew that these issues were too small to bring to Moses, but it left them with ever increasing frustration that finally blew up. As a result, God told Moses to select 70 men upon whom God would pour out His Spirit so that they could take some of this burden off of him.
In addition to telling Moses to select 70 men, God told him that He would send them meat to provide variety to their diet, so much that they would become sick from it. When looked at the way I laid out in the previous paragraph, God’s response seems harsh. However, the frustrations the people of Israel were feeling were their own fault. They had failed to seek out someone to help them deal with their complaints, complaints which they knew were minor. There are really two sides to this. If we are the leaders of a group of people, we need to put into place systems to allow people to vent their discontent and frustration, systems which make them feel like their concerns have been heard and will be addressed (an important part of making people feel like their concerns will be addressed is for their concerns to actually be addressed). On the other hand, if we are members of a group (and we all are), we need to find people to whom we can present our discontent and frustration, people who can see that they get addressed.