Every once and awhile I get a craving to eat at Chang’s restaurant where I get to select my food and seasonings and then watch the chef cook the ingredients on a Mongolian grill. The experience is mouth watering. So when I read about the Israelites getting tired of the manna that God gave them each day during their forty years of desert wandering, I can understand. Eating the same food is boring. Even though they were slaves in Egypt they remembered the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic readily available.
Unfortunately, the people who complained in Numbers 11:4 are called “rabble” (Orthodox Jewish Bible) who “fell a-lusting.” My Holman Bible describes them as “contemptible people” with a “strong craving.” Family after family stood in front of their tent and cried out in a gigantic temper tantrum. Their verbal whining provoked both God and Moses. Moses was overwhelmed by the challenge of finding and providing meat for over a million people and was so bothered by God’s selection of him as their leader that he actually said, “If You are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now. If You are pleased with me, don’t let me see my misery(possibly translated Your misery) anymore” (11:15).
God responded. First, He had Moses select 70 men known as either elders or officers and then He placed His Spirit on them to help relieve Moses’ burden of leading. Second, He orchestrated the world’s greatest quail round-up. His supernatural wind blew in quail from the distant sea coast dropping them all around the camp for a day’s journey in every direction! There were enough birds to provide meat for a month!
Numbers 11:33,34—While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the LORD’s anger burned against the people, and the LORD struck them with a very severe plague. So they named that place Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved the meat.
It is natural and okay to experience cravings. But cravings do not give us the excuse to complain, to be bitter and to second guess God’s authority and leading. Prudent people see the miracle in the manna and worship God for His faithful provision. They know in their hearts they don’t deserve heaven’s wafers. Their eyes are on their destination rather than what’s on their plates. Contemptible people find multiple reasons to be unhappy. God may decide that death is their just compensation. Kibroth-hattaavah means “Graves of Craving.”
I wouldn’t want my tomb etched with those words and I bet you wouldn’t either. Let’s thank God for what He’s given us instead of obsessing on what we want. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Happiness rather than holiness, experience rather than learning, feeling rather than thinking, entitlement rather than responsibility—this is what we crave.—Walt Henrichsen
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)