God had taken Israel out of Egypt, but taking Egypt out of Israel was going to be a longer-term project. Physically they had been delivered, but the old untrusting attitudes they had learned during their captivity were still very much alive and kicking.
So they were already looking back with rose-tinted spectacles on what they had left behind. And they grumbled; the grumbling was directed at Moses, but really they were grumbling at God - as Moses pointed out. Nevertheless, God was extraordinarily gracious - their grumbling was answered with the provision of abundant quantities of food.
In vv.6-8, Moses tells the people that 'you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt ... you will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat'. And in v.12, God says 'then you will know that I am the LORD your God'.
We have seen before that God was particularly interested in people knowing him (see Exodus 6:7, 7:5, 7:17, 8:10, 8:22, 9:14, 10:2). So surely the people of Israel did know the LORD by now, and did know that he would not let them down - hadn't they seen the ten plagues and experienced God bringing them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea? Yet somehow they didn't yet seem to have placed their trust in him - hence all the grumbling.
On Sunday I was preaching on the words Zechariah prophesied when John the Baptist was born, and we especially looked at Luke 1:77 where we read that people will be given 'the knowledge of salvation'. Salvation can be something we know about in theory, but has it permeated our hearts? Do we have assurance that God has saved us and is on our side? Do we know God or do we just know facts about God?
If we're not sure, let's ask him to give us what he has promised - the gift of the knowledge of his salvation.