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Numbers Chapter 11 (ESV)
1 And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. 3 So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them.
4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it and ground it in handmills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9 When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it.
- Read this passage with an attitude of a spoiled child, a stern father, or a rabble.
- The people found new causes of complaint: a monotonous diet! Every family was wailing at the door of its tent. For a year now, God had provided manna, a miraculous, perfectly balanced food that provided all the body requires for good health. Rather than be grateful, the people shouted their dissatisfaction.
- The people who truly trust God is content with what He provides. A preoccupation with material things, whether diet or riches, is a subtle but real expression of unbelief.
- When am I, like Israel, most likely to become discouraged with my allotment in life? When discouraged, do I listen more to people’s complaints, to God’s provision, or to inner doubts?
- How would God feel when I complain about my life or crave things He has not provided for me? How does God communicate His will to me in this regard?
Reflect for a while. What is my utmost concern right now? Is it appreciation of all God’s gifts or unfulfilled wishes? Have I forgotten God’s abundant grace, such as life, food, health, work and friends? Give a thanksgiving prayer to God for all that I possess.