Suffering and sickness in the Holy Bible – Part 16
“Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so, the children of Israel also wept again and said: “who will give us meat to eat?” 5We remember the fish, which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this before our eyes.” (Nm. 11:4-6)
“But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. 34So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving.” (Nm. 11:33, 34)
11:4-6 Dissatisfaction comes when our attention shifts from what we have to what we don’t have. The people of Israel didn’t seem to notice what God was doing for them — setting them free, making them a nation, giving them a new land — because they were so wrapped up in what God wasn’t doing for them. They could think of nothing, but the delicious Egyptian food they had left behind. Somehow they forgot that the brutal whip of Egyptian slavery was the cost of eating that food.
Before we judge the Israelites too harshly, it’s helpful to think about what occupies our attention most of the time. Are we grateful for what God has given us, or are we always thinking about what we would like to have? We should not allow our unfulfilled desires to cause us to forget God’s gifts of life, food, health, work, and friends.
Every morning the Israelites drew back their tent doors and witnessed a miracle. Covering the ground was white, fluffy manna — food from heaven. But soon that was not enough. Feeling it was their right to have more, they forgot what they already had. They did not ask God to fill their need; instead they demanded meat, and they stopped trusting God to care for them.
“Who will give us meat to eat?” They complained to Moses, as they reminisced about the good food they had in Egypt. God gave them what they asked for, but they paid dearly for it when a plague struck the camp (see 11:18-20, 31-34).
When you ask God for something, he may grant your request. But if you approach him with a sinful attitude, getting what you want may prove costly.
“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mat 5:28)
“looks … to lust.” What Christ condemns is not the sudden thought that Satan may place in a person’s mind or an improper desire that arises suddenly.
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