Tonight, I'm going to eat dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. One of my favorite meals is a medium/medium-rare filet mignon accompanied by salad & baked potato. Mmmm.....I can just smell it now and can't wait until I get to taste it. Needless to say that I can relate to the poor Israelites who had been wandering around in the desert living off of manna without any meat as we find them in Numbers 11. (I'm not sure without doing the research as to how long they had been eating the manna at this point, but I can safely say that it had been the situation for quite some time). I wonder what I'd be saying had I not been able to eat any form of meat for even a month? Would I be like the Israelites saying that my soul was dried away?
But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna before our eyes. (Nu 11:6)
There is such a huge lesson to be learned from the rest of this chapter in Numbers. Have you ever been in a situation where God was present and supplying all of your needs but yet you still wanted the one thing that you didn't have? What do you think that God felt when his children complained about the very thing that had been keeping them alive? When we reject God's provision for our lives we are in effect rejecting God himself. We have lost our faith in the One who has it all under control. Embarrassingly, but humanly so, I have been at that place.
The people's complaining once again drew Moses to prayer. Maybe, in God's sovereignty, He was using the burden of the people to draw Moses closer to Him. Remember, God will use everything for His greater glory (Ro 8:28), including whiners. I smile uneasily at God's response because I know that I've probably behaved like the Israelites at one time or other and am convicted for the future. God told Moses to tell the people that because they were desiring the meat they formerly had in Egypt, that He would give it to them...in abundance. (Moral: Watch what you pray for. God might just answer your prayer to teach you a lesson!) Try to imagine what emotions were behind God's message:
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? (Num 11:19-20)
Right now I'm thinking, "Steak is good, but I surely wouldn't want it every day for a month!" I don't know about you, but I'm feeling guilty for the children of Israel. God has delivered me out of my own Egypt, and whenever I am unthankful for the deliverance by wanting something else, I know I'm not pleasing God. We should always strive to remember where we came from - that we were delivered from an old life into a better one. We just need to give the time to work things out as He, not we, have planned.