The Spirit and the Struggle
Lord, may my heart's desire be for Jesus, "the bread from heaven," and for nothing else.
What provoked God's anger?
Two different stories are interwoven here: one wonderful, one terrible.
In the first, Moses complains that there is no way he can lead everyone without help. So God gives him help. In fact, God takes the Spirit that is on Moses and distributes it around (25), with gloriously chaotic results: people start prophesying all over the place, including Eldad and Medad back at camp (26). Joshua thinks this is highly inappropriate. Moses' famous response, in our verse for today, sees a bigger picture--one that will still be in God's sights come Pentecost (in Acts 2).
But then the second story. The people offend God by asking for meat instead of manna. So God gives them so much meat that they will get sick of it (20). And when it comes, as quail (31), it is even worse than that, and God's anger strikes them with a plague (33).
Is the interweaving of the stories a key? On the one hand: blessing. On the other: judgment. As Job once put it, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (Job 2:10).
Our God is a jealous God. Allow him to expose things in you that are opposed to him and help you turn from them.
Father, Your way is the way of life. I do not want to walk on my own, apart from You.