This morning I was reading in Numbers & this has caused me to think about something…..
We all have them.
We may “crave” different things at different times.
We all experience them.
And we “crave” for varied reasons.
But, we all have craved.
Enter, God’s people, traveling in the wilderness. Even they – craved. Let’s catch up with the Israelites. They are on their journey. God has already miraculously rescued them from their oppressors, the Egyptians. God has organized them for their trip. He has provided manna for them.
“Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said.” (Numbers 11:1 NLT).
They may have been having a private conversation with their leader, Moses, and they were, but God was listening to it all. Not only was God listening but Scripture tells us “that the Lord’s anger blazed against them” (the end of verse 1). And here is where the trouble begins….
“Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” (Numbers 11: 4-6 NLT).
“To crave” according to addictexplained.com (who knew?) is:
- a consuming desire; a yearning
- an appetite or great desire for ……MORE
- to desire……BEYOND
In three simple words – consuming, more & beyond. But let’s get back to the Israelites & see what took place.
- The complaining began with the “foreign rabble”. These were non-Israelites that they took with them on this journey. May we be wise who we let travel along with us. They allowed themselves to be influenced by people that they had little regard for.
- Complaining is contagious. The complaining may have started with the rabble but the Israelites were soon doing their share. They lost sight of God & His promises to them.
- They remembered the good foods that they had eaten in Egypt. Not only was the food not that good, neither did they “eat for free in Egypt”. They began to speak & believe a lie. They obviously forgot how they were slave labor with ever-increasing work loads, limited supplies & beatings.
Let us make no mistake about this – to crave can be dangerous. We will believe the lie that the object craved will bring satisfaction. We will believe the lie that we “need” it to survive. We will think more of the object craved that it truly will ever deliver. In the middle of our craving, we can lose sight of all that God has promised & has for us.
- Dessert. We look at it & think of the delicious taste that will burst in our mouths. We don’t think about the excessive calories, the weight gain, the cholesterol or the sense of defeat we will feel afterwards.
- An affair. We focus on the acceptance, the desires. We never remember that it will cost us our self-respect, our marriages or our families. We are not reminded of the loss until we are alone.
- Shopping. We focus on the object we are purchasing – clothes, shoes, technology. Never do we think of the bills, the interest or the cycle of defeat that begins.
To this list we can add….alcohol, addictive substances, toxic friendships, pornography. All make promises that they cannot deliver. Each promises satisfaction that is temporary & with a higher price tag than we ever expect to pay.
Let’s be mindful when we crave. May we pay attention to what we are craving. May we be wise in handling our cravings & not give into them.
Today may my prayer be:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire but you. My flesh & my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26 NIV).