In two TV shows I recently watched (one of them the Grilled Cheesus episode of Glee) a character suggested that God was a real jerk. Asking Abraham to kill his son; teaching his followers intolerance toward gays; disposing of humanity with an enormous flood when things got out of control—I have to admit, Old Testament God doesn’t sound like someone you’d want babysitting your kids.
Jesus came to teach us what God was really all about—Love. But I contend that you do, in fact, get to see the occasional hint of that in the Old Testament. Specifically in the story of God feeding the Israelites during their 40-year jaunt in the wilderness.
Here’s the gist of the story: the Israelites had escaped from pharaoh in Egypt, and had spent a little over two weeks wandering in the wilderness when they arrived in Sin (a real place, apparently roughly between Elim and Sinai.) They’d been slaves, so they didn’t have a lot of stuff to take with them when they left Egypt—including food. They were starving. And they started to complain:
“Moses—when we were slaves, at least we got fed! Beef stew and bread every night. But now we’re free. Yippy-skippy. Free to do what—starve?”
So God sent the Israelites food. Manna. Manna is a bread-like substance which fell from heaven. Each morning, the Israelites gathered it and they ate. Here’s how the Bible describes it:
white-ish in color
not as good the next day
something to fry in oil
stale if you leave it in the sun
sweet in flavor
So I finally figured it out—God sent the Israelites Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It’s true! Small, round, sweet bread, white inside, fried in oil, not as good if it sits around all day. This is proof—proof positive, that God LOVED his children.
It’s also why I have to stop at Krispy Kreme each time I go to the LDS temple up in Denver—Krispy Kreme is the food of the gods! It’s a way for me to worship God. (Okay, maybe not.)
But it gets better. When the Israelites got sick of eating Krispy Kreme every day, they prayed for God to send them something else. So he sent thousands of tiny quail for them to catch and cook up.
Can you say, “time for wings!”?