Complaining, Doubt, & Cravings (Numbers 11)

Numbers 11:1: “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it…” For starters. I don’t want to displease the Lord. So I paused right here and was reminded of Philippians 2:14, “Do  everything without complaining or arguing.”

Note to self – don’t complain!

In this particular chapter of Numbers though, it’s the Israelites complaining about manna. They’re having cravings for all the delicacies of Egypt and complaining to whoever will listen, which according to verse 1is God.

In verse 20, God gets so tired of listening to them He says ‘fine! Then I’m going to give them enough meat to eat for a month until it makes them sick.’ (the Meghan paraphrase) This does not sound like a happy God. Repenting would be a good choice here. Try to do something to make it right!

But what does Moses do? Doubt God’s ability to provide! In verses 21-22, Moses does some quick math, decides that’s a lot of meat and determines it’s not possible.

Hang on. Isn’t this the God that turned the Nile to blood? Parted the Red Sea? Led you with a cloud pillar by day and a fire one by night? Fed the whole slew of ya manna from heaven? But meat is too difficult for Him? Right! LOL 🙂

God, already angry with the complainers, calls Moses on it in verse 23, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”

Note to self – trust that God will do what He’s said He’s gonna do

So then, of course, God does provide the promised meat in the form of quail… TONS of it! Still unrepentant, they think this is just delightful. Those that yielded to the craving though all got sick and died. The place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, which means “graves of craving”.

One might wonder why this was so grievous. Here’s the thing, where was their focus? On God and His plan? Nope. On their fleshly desires. Instead of being grateful for God’s attentive care to meet every need, they whined because He didn’t do it how THEY wanted.

Note to self – stay focused on God’s plan, tell my flesh to pipe down and die, and be grateful for God’s careful and mindful provision for me even if it’s not how I expected it to look 🙂

Thank You Lord for Your patience. I know I am no better than the Israelites more of the time than I care to admit. Forgive me for complaining. Help me to learn to be like Paul – content in any circumstance. Forgive me for ever doubting that You will be faithful to Your word – especially since I have a track record of Your faithfulness in my life.

Finally Lord, thank You for Your meticulous provision for me. You are good and I so appreciate knowing I can fully rely on You even when in the natural things may scream otherwise – You just frequently do things different than I would… thank You for Your patience with me in the moments I have to remind myself Your ways are not my ways… Your ways are higher. Help me come up higher and learn more of You…

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4 thoughts on “Complaining, Doubt, & Cravings (Numbers 11)

  1. I like this:
    Note to self – stay focused on God’s plan, tell my flesh to pipe down and die, and be grateful for God’s careful and mindful provision for me even if it’s not how I expected it to look.

    Amen…

  2. Amen. I complain in ways that I don’t allow the Spirit to check me in, if that makes sense. It doesn’t seem like out and out complaining but the reality is, if I am not praising God, then I may be in danger of complaining.

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