Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 184

this now just as much as in the days of Israel.

God Himself directed the Israelites in their travels. The coming down of the pillar of cloud showed the place they were to camp, and the cloud rested over the tabernacle as long as they were to remain in camp. When they were to continue their journey, it rose high above the sacred tent.

It was only an eleven day journey between Mt. Sinai and Kadesh, on the borders of Canaan. With the hope of soon entering the promised land, all of Israel resumed their march when the cloud gave the signal. What blessings could they expect, now that they had officially been acknowledged as the chosen people of the Most High?

With reluctance many left the place where they had camped. The scene was so closely associated with the presence of God and holy angels that it seemed too sacred to be left thoughtlessly, or even gladly. At the signal from the trumpeters, however, all eyes turned anxiously to see in what direction the cloud would lead. As it moved toward the east, where only black and desolate mountain masses huddled together, a feeling of sadness and doubt arose in many hearts.

As they moved along, the way became more difficult. Their route went through stony canyons and empty wilderness, “a land of deserts and pits ... a land of drought and the shadow of death ... a land that no one crossed, and where no one dwelt” (Jeremiah 2:6). Their progress was slow and hard, and the multitudes were not prepared to endure the dangers and discomforts of the way.

The People Demand a Meat Diet

After three days’ journey open complaints were heard. These started with the mixed multitude, many of whom were always finding fault with the way in which Moses was leading them, though they knew that he was following the cloud. Unhappiness is contagious, and it soon spread in the camp.

Again they began to demand meat to eat. Many of the Egyptians among them had been used to a rich diet, and these were the first to complain.

God could have provided them with meat as easily as with manna, but His aim was to supply food better suited to their needs. The perverted appetite was to be brought into a more healthy state so that they could enjoy the food originally provided for the human family, the fruits of the earth which God gave to Adam and Eve in Eden. This is the reason the Israelites had been largely deprived of animal food.

Satan tempted them to think of this as unfair and cruel. He saw that filling every desire of their appetite would tend to produce sensuality, and by this means the people could be brought under his control more easily. From the time he convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, he has, to a large extent, led men into sin through appetite. Intemperance in eating and drinking prepares

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