"When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell with it." (v. 9)

Numbers 11:4-15 Saturday 7 May 2016

Psalm: Psalm 87


Today we join the Israelites as they continue their journeythrough the wilderness to the Promised Land. They have left theirlife of slavery and harsh treatment at the hands of the Egyptianswith the promise of a land flowing with milk and honey ahead ofthem. But that land is still a long way off. Three things stand outabout the Israelites and their relationship with God:

  • The first thing is their selectivememory. The Israelites have forgotten about their harshtreatment, their pains, their weeping and their desire to leaveEgypt. They have also forgotten about their god, who delivered themfrom the hands of their oppressors. We see them longing for thatwhich they had. But did they really have it all? Now that they haverun out of food, they start to complain about their situation: "Weremember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, thecucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic". TheIsraelites have a very selected memory! Did they really eat thiswell as slaves in Egypt? Did they really eat 'freely'?
  • The second thing that stands out istheir self-centredness. Their concern wasabout themselves rather than their relationship with, anddependence on, God. They have lost their reliance on God toprovide; that sense that if God calls us then God will provide allthat we need. This passage reminds us that God's concern is for ourwhole being. There is no separation between 'spiritual' wellbeingand 'physical' wellbeing. God's response is to provide physicalfood.
  • We also see a leader, Moses, who struggles withthe burden of leadership. How can he providewhat they are asking for? Where will he find meat for them? Butwith Moses, we see a leader who, in his struggle, goes straight toGod. Moses is right. He is not able to carry these people alone.The burden is too heavy for him, but it is not his task alone. Itis God's, and as we were reminded above - if God calls, Godprovides.

A lesson Moses had to learn, as well as theIsraelites.

To Ponder

  • How selective is your memory? How do you remember God'sgoodness to you - especially when life is difficult?
  • In what ways do you separate your spiritual wellbeing from yourphysical wellbeing? How are the two related for you?
  • How is God teaching you to rely totally on God'sprovision?


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