Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4
Read the “0219 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1)
Boy, I hope that you enjoyed today’s reading as much as I did! Sometimes when we read these Old Testament passages, especially the chapters containing the genealogies, they can be less interesting and lacking of action, but that was certainly not the case for Numbers 11 – 13.
In Numbers 11, we have an account of the people of God murmuring and complaining, which is something they did often, and God hated it. Anyway, here in chapter eleven they are complaining about the manna that God provided for them everyday. Imagine not having to work for your food, but simply going out every morning and gathering it up from off of the ground. We do not know exactly what manna tasted like, but I’d bet it was good; and since it came directly from God as bread from Heaven, I can guarantee that it provided perfect nutrition. Yet, the people were tired of manna every day. Keith Green wrote a great song that described the frustration of the Israelites with their day to day wander in the wilderness, and their lack of desire for manna. Here is a portion of “So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt:”
Well there’s nothing do but travel
And we sure travel a lot
‘Cause it’s hard to keep your feet from moving
When the sand gets so hot
And in the morning it’s manna hotcakes
We snack on manna all day
And we sure had a winner last night for dinner
Flaming manna souffle
Well we once complained for something new to munch
The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch
Ooh, such fire and smoke
Can’t God even take a joke? Huh? NO!
Oh, Moses, put down your pen!
What? Oh no, manna again?
Oh, manna waffles
Fillet of manna
I think the main reason that the people complained was because they were on a different timetable than God. I know I am. I want what I want, when I want it, which is usually immediately. The people liked the manna at first, but they got tired of it. I am sure that God knew that they needed a little more variety in their diet, but He wasn’t providing it as fast as the people wanted. So what did they do? They griped and complained. They wanted MEAT! And, they wanted it NOW! They more than desired it, they lusted after it. So, what did God do? He gave it to them in the form of quails. So many of them that they were piled up three feet deep in a large area surrounding the camp. They ate so much of it that it came out of their nostrils. They loved the quail that God provided at first, but they would soon tire of it as well.
Why is it that God’s people get tired of the good things that He provides for them. Why is it that we always want more; we are never satisfied, never content.
In chapter twelve, we see that the complaints were not limited to just the lay people. Apparently Aaron and Miriam were upset about the fact that Moses had chosen an African wife. God was not pleased with their criticism either, and Miriam was stricken (at least temporarily) with leprosy.
Then in chapter thirteen, God sent twelve spies in to check out the land of Canaan. He didn’t want them to figure out how God was going to bring them in to defeat the Canaanites, He just wanted them to see how beautiful and abundant the land was so they could get a vision for what God had in store for them. Instead of coming back excited, they came back scared. They did not believe that their God was able to defeat the Canaanites, and they, too, griped and complained.
When are we going to learn? Why can’t God’s people see that their cups are overflowing with blessings, instead of viewing them as half-empty. Is this the way you see things? Do you tend to see the negative side of everything? Learn from all of these examples from Numbers 11 – 13. God is good, and He is very good to His children. He has dealt with us far better than we could ever deserve.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 5 comments.