July 7, 2021
Scripture: You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?” Numbers 11:19-20
Observation: All of us succumb to looking over our shoulders to the past when the present is unattractive. Often, we tend to glorify those “good old days,” which leads to discontentment and grumbling. The Israelites provide us a cautionary tale of the consequences. Wandering in the desert, they complained about their monotonous diet of manna in comparison to the variety of fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic they had eaten in Egypt. It’s an example of selective memory to justify ungratefulness. Yes, they had more options, but food could never alleviate their past physical and mental suffering at the hand of Pharaoh. A temporary, restrictive diet was a small price to pay for the reward that awaited them. They were now free and heading toward a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet, instead of looking forward, they focused on the past. Consequently, because of their lack of faith in God’s guidance and provision, he gave them over to their complaints and provided quail that would cause some to die from food poisoning.
Takeaway: When we are tempted to complain about the present circumstances we need to resist dwelling in the past and keep our sights set on our journey to the eternal Promise Land and give thanks. As the Apostle Paul reminded the Roman church, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” Romans 8:18.
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, please help us keep our sights set on eternity and the glory that will be revealed in us and resist grumbling over the passing trials and suffering of this our temporary home.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling