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)
The record of Numbers 11 is that the people complained and it displeased God. There were people among the multitude that would only seek for themselves. Their concern was for their comfort and their bellies. They did not seek for the heart of God, or be an encouragement for those who needed it, but rather complained. This attitude was met swiftly with God’s anger and judgment. Then the Isrealites complained and began “lusting”after meat, because God’s solution for their hunger was not enough for them. God gave to them according to their lust, until the “Meat was coming out of their nostrils”.
Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? (Numbers 11:19-20)
Too often it is easy to fix our eyes on our problems and not on the One who holds our future. We focus on the challenges that we have allowed to become huge and insurmountable in our hearts and minds. We are experts at taking very real problems and situations, and blowing them up even larger.
We need God‘s grace to remember Who we are dealing with.
“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)
He is the Lover of our souls. He is the One who can heal with a word or a touch of his hand. It is He, who fed the multitudes, not only with bread and fish, but with the words of eternal life. When we face the reality of giants, as they did in the land that was promised to them, we can choose to remember his words that tell us to believe him, or we can allow ourselves to be overrun by our own hearts, which can easily fail and lead us down unsafe paths. When we complain with our voices, it’s just a manifestation of what is already present within the abundance of our heart. Better and safer it is to be in his perfect will. Even with potential threats and possible calamities we are protected. It is better for us to trust Him then to be out of his will. We do not need to be striving to forge a way through, apart from him and his keeping grace. He is the living God! He can be trusted! He is faithful and true! He is the way the truth and the life. He said “Apart from me, ye can do nothing!” If we can see Him as He is, all else will be diminished.
What is spilling out when we are squeezed, bumped, or rubbed? As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. We need to relent and defer to His holy course, His Word. He knows our frame. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks upon the heart. King David asked
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
At times we may be clever to avoid detection by others, but not so with our Lord, He knows and understands who we really are and what we are about. Looking at Nathaniel while he sat under a fig tree, Jesus said “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47). God’s work in us, the softening and the giving of understanding, chips away at our hard stony heart and allows us to view our own weakness and inadequacy and God’s perfect love and creates in us a thankful heart. We can say with David “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). Yes, know and realize that He, the altogether lovely One, went to exceeding great lengths to rescue you and I to give us life! At our core as well as on our surface, we are no different from those that wandered in the desert. The place in which we wander may look different from theirs, but we still contain within us the propensity to whine and complain just as much, and to be discontent or even shake our fist at our Rescuer and Redeemer. Will we lean on our own understanding and the arm of the flesh? Or will we trust our loving merciful Savior? His grace is sufficient to come and deliver us from ourselves. Sometimes we have stinking thinking, but rest assured that he who began a good work in us will continue and his love never fails. He is relentless to come and show us the way. And gentleness and great meekness he gives correction and guidance as we acknowledge him he leads us.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Posted in Devotions by Joe Lingelbach with 3 comments.