There are those among the Israelites who aren’t grateful for their daily bread. It’s not just any bread. It tastes like pastry made with honey and fried; yum!
The Lord considers their response and has His own. The fire of the Lord comes down and destroys part of the camp. This is the fire of the Lord that consumes the sin offering. The offering takes on the sin and is destroyed. God’s fire removes, destroys sin.
Complaining is a sin. It leads to destruction. The whole modern emphasis on gratitude isn’t some new thing; it was God’s good idea.
Speaking of mindfulness, let me just give a quick view of what the Bible teaches. I avoid most anything that says “mindfulness,” so I don’t know a lot about it, but the whole concept of “living in the present” is missing something the Bible teaches. The Bible does teach us to look back and to look forward, but ALWAYS with gratitude, with thanksgiving. We remember what we’ve come through and how the Lord was with us and brought us through and all He’s done for us.
When we think of the future, we’re not to worry; we’re supposed to be full of thanksgiving that He has it all in His hands. When the fire of the Lord is consuming, the people complain to Moses. They don’t go to the source. The complaining spreads to others. These are a people who don’t trust that they have a relationship with God, that they can just go and ask Him and He will help. These are a people in unbelief. Then, it seems, the complaining really does spread. It started with a group, and now throughout Israel they are complaining that they had it better in captivity. They want to return to their slavery.
When we become Christians and when we lead others to Christ, it has to be because of who He is and not because of what we can get out of it. If we come to Christ for selfish reasons, the selfishness will lead to complaining instead of praising. When things in the new land aren’t as rosy as you had hoped, does your thankful heart give way to complaining and wishing for the old days? Or, do you double down with gratitude and a determination to follow the Lord, knowing He is good?
A grateful heart can weather any storm because it always knows the goodness of God. And God’s goodness can warm any cold night, protect against any fierce storm, and fill any emptiness.