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! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” Numbers 11:4-6
The children of Israel have been in this circumstance for a while, and we see a familiar pattern whenever they had a lack or need, they doubted God’s ability to provide for them. Instead of trusting in His will for them, they choose to run after their desires. Manna was a miracle of provision in the wilderness yet, now it has become familiar and contemptible in their sight.
They lusted for meat
It’s not just that they wanted meat, but that there was a deeper thing going on in their hearts when they began crying for meat.
And in their hearts, they put God to the test By asking for food according to their [selfish] appetite. Then they spoke against God; They said, “Can God prepare [food for] a table in the wilderness?“ Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out and the streams overflowed; Can He give bread also? Or will He provide meat for His people?” Psalm 78:18-20 AMP
They weren’t just lusting for some meat, in their heart they willfully tested and questioned God’s ability to provide for them. They wanted God to prove himself to them by giving them meat.
We have to be careful what we pray for. Sometimes with our requests, we demand that God provide for us according to our lusts, rather than according to His will. We can also put a demand for God to prove Himself faithful to us (don’t put God to the test). If we have not made up our minds to trust Him, there is nothing He will give to us that will convince us otherwise. We can see this with the Israelites.
Dissatisfaction with God’s provision
Their lust also said something else, they were sick and tired of God’s miraculous provision for them in the wilderness. They said, “We have nothing but this manna!” Can you hear the contempt? The miracle had become familiar and contemptible to them. It was no longer a sign of God’s goodness and faithfulness; it was no longer a miracle in the wilderness. It was now a reminder that God was withholding from them. Oh, I have been here, where God has miraculously provided for me in a circumstance and I later turned around and began to question His goodness for me in that situation. My manna had become contemptible and I wanted something else rather than what He had faithfully kept providing for me.
Manna was an everyday miracle. It came every morning (without fail) revealing God’s faithfulness to them every single day. (Exodus 16:21)
What is your manna? Is it a job that you wept and prayed for, that is no longer a miracle but a contemptible reminder of what you cannot have? Is it a relationship? A ministry? A dream that is halfway fulfilled? Or a circumstance that feels as if it is never ending? We can all look at our lives and find scatterings of God’s miraculous Manna for us. We also have a choice to keep our hearts pure in celebrating the miracle even when it gets old and familiar.
The Grave of Lust
And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. Numbers 11:34 KJV
God finally heeded their lust and gave them meat. But He also did something else, everyone who had lusted and instigated this whole lusting episode died that day. The place was called the Grave of Lust as a reminder to them and to us, of what will happen when we choose to run after our longings rather than trust in His faithfulness.
I love this verse. But they quickly forgot His works; They did not [patiently] wait for His counsel and purpose [to be revealed regarding them], But lusted intensely in the wilderness. And tempted God [with their insistent desires] in the desert. So He gave them their request but sent a wasting disease among them. Psalm 106:13-15 AMP
Lust was a way of revealing their impatience with God’s plans for them.
The wilderness can become a place where we learn to lean on God and trust in His faithfulness and timing, or it can become a place where we die because of our lusts.
The Israelites are a lesson for us. Anything can become a lustful desire before God if we begin to want it more than we desire Him and His will for us. In the Israelites’ case, it was something as simple as food; their lack of different kinds of food became a stumbling block for them.
We can lust for security and comfort. We can lust for a relationship; we can lust for positions and accolades. We can lust for platforms and recognition. We can lust for success and affluence. Anything we want in our lives more than Him will become a stumbling block in our relationship with Him. We, therefore, have to guard our hearts so that we are not exalting a need or want to the point of it becoming a lust before God.
Guarding our hearts
How do we make sure that we guard our hearts from lust? Anything we want we bring it before Him. I always do this, I tell Him, I’m laying it down before you because it’s a promise from you, and I know you will give it to me at the right time and the right way. Sometimes I have to do this many times, other times, it’s a one-time thing and I feel His rest and peace over the matter. He is our desire in every season, everything comes second. We also make sure we are celebrating the miracle of manna( even when it’s old). We choose not to become familiar with His blessings. We give Him praise every single day for the old miracles as we wait for the season to change. Lastly, We make a choice to remain amazed by His goodness and kindness every single day of our lives. We look for it and keep beholding it with grateful hearts.
2 thoughts on “The Trouble with Manna”
Choosing not to become familiar with his blessings – gratitude plays such a pivotal role in that. I at times intentionally try and focus on things that when we are without what my life would be like. And it would help shift my perspective. Prayer does indeed help us open our eyes and see things through God’s lens. A good post Lucy. God bless you.
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So true Manu, gratitude plays a huge role in making sure we aren’t becoming familiar with His blessings. I love that…trying to imagine your life without that blessing would quickly change ones perspective on it. Thank you and blessings ❤️
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