Today’s Reading: Numbers 10:1-11:23 (additional reading Psalm 51:1-19 and Proverbs 10:31-32)
Key Verse: “The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’ – Numbers 11:4-6
As we have been reading through the books of Leviticus and Numbers, we have been reminded just how much like the children of Israel we are. We have seen today in our reading that they were a people who loved to complain. There are many people out there who like to complain – maybe you are one of them. Just take the weather for an example: It’s either too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, some people are just never happy.
In verses 1-3 we see the first account. The people complained about their hardships. Do you know of anyone who grumbles when things get hard? I guess most of us do. The Israelites didn’t like walking through the wilderness. Like us, they would have rather taken the plane with the dinner and movie. The truth is that hardship is sometimes good for us. That, of course, doesn’t mean that we should pray for hardness, but when it comes, Timothy tells us we are to endure hardship like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
In Numbers 11:4-6 the second complaining came, this time about food. “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
God had provided a miraculous meal for them every day. All they had to do was walk out in the morning and their breakfast was all ready for them. But they wanted more. They focused on what they didn’t have, rather than one God’s blessings.
Imagine I walked up to a house, knocked the door and gave the person £10. They would thank me profusely. The next day at the same time I could go again, and again they would be grateful. If I kept up this routine, pretty soon they would come to expect my visit and be watching for me. After a while, if I missed a day, they would probably be mad at me because I forgot to come and bring them the £10 I normally would. Why? Not because they earned it, but because they had come to expect it.
The children of Israel expected more and more out of God. They weren’t content with what they had. So they started to complain. Rather than to bite their tongues and not grumble; they thought it better to bite the hand that feeds them. Very often we can do the same, grumbling like little children when we don’t get our own way with God. Let us change this and start to thank him for every blessing he pours upon us.
- What are you taking for granted?
- Are you complaining about something when you should be praising?
- How can you develop a heart of thanksgiving?
Father, Thank You that You supply all of our needs through Jesus. Thank You that you give us even more than we need. Help us to have hearts of gratitude nd to stop complaining like little children. Thank You for all Your goodness towards us. In Jesus’ name, Amen