Good morning and a most blessed Thursday to you.
I want to share with you an Old Testament Bible story from the book of Numbers, that struck me as very interesting during my morning devotional time yesterday. The Israelites continued to grumble against and the Lord, even though He miraculously provided for their every need over and over again. In this text they were complaining because they were sick and tired of the mana, this miraculous food that appeared in just the right amount every single day. And double the amount on Fridays. so that they would not have to gather on the Sabbath. Despite having that provision from the Lord, despite having walked as if on dry ground through the Red Sea, despite having been given by God the ten commandments and the Levitical law, despite all of this and more they still grumbled and complaining saying how much they missed life back in Egypt because in Egypt, where they had fish and meat and garlic to eat.
In Numbers chapter 11 the Lord tells Moses to say to the people…
18 Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wailed in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “If only we had meat to eat! Surely it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’
Their very complaint is against the one who had gone before them, and who was leading them and providing for them at every turn. So the Lord says, "Just wait;. You're going to have so much meat that it will come out your nose."
31 Then a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground. 32 So the people worked all that day and night and all the next day, gathering the quails; the least anyone gathered was ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth.
So while they were still eating this meat that God again had so miraculously provided for them, the Lord's anger was kindled against them. Once again, they had rejected the Lord by their complaining and grumbling against Him.
What struck me about this reading yesterday was that they named this place, Kibroth-Hattaavah, which means a “graves of craving”. The people who grumbled were struck down by a plague and put in the graves by their craving. They never stopped their complaints against the Lord, regardless of his mercy, and regardless of His faithfulness to the Israelite people.
What is so interesting is that this convicts us of our own selfishness and greed in our sinful nature. The Lord provides for us every single day in every similar manner, and yet instead of looking at the blessing that is right in front of us, that we are experiencing in the very moment, we continue to look past it, and crave blessings we wish we could have. That covetous nature of our hearts lead us to be jealous for something that is not ours. Our eyes are fixed on something that is beyond the very blessing which we are given in this moment of this day. This text convicted me of my own sinful nature.
We are called as God's children and given every opportunity to, as Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We don't need to look past the blessing that is, but we can give thanks in the very moment that we have right now; for the very blessing of our life, the very blessing of the faith community that he has called us into, the very blessing that we have awoken this morning and taken our breath, the very blessing that our heart continues to beat inside our chest, the very blessing that our salvation is secured in Christ and Christ alone, the very blessing that through technology we are able every single week to have this time of devotion together in God's Word.
So I want to encourage all of us all, myself included, to take a moment today to appreciate and give thanks for the blessing that we have right here right now, and not grumble or complain, or not look past the blessing of today to what we wish for for tomorrow. We know that God will provide our every need and continue to sustain us in every moment according to his will. We can trust in his sovereignty, and his grace, and his mercy because he has proven himself over and over again, just as he did with the Israelites, to be merciful, steadfast in his faithfulness, and to be unchanging and unending in his love for you and me.
Let's pray. Lord, we thank you so much for this day, and for how faithfully you provide for us. We thank you that we do not have to look past this very moment to recognize your love and your grace for us. We ask that you would open our hearts and our eyes to see before us the blessing that it is in each moment of our lives. We ask that you would use us in each moment to glorify you, and to share your love with those around us. Lord, we repent of our grumbling against you, and we thank you for the forgiveness purchased by our Lord Christ Jesus. We ask that you continue to guide us according to your will, and help us to trust in you above all else. We lift this all to you in the amazing name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have an incredible rest of your week, and I will look forward to worshiping with you once again in just a couple of days. Until then, God bless!