Adventures in Christian Living
By: Keith Newell
We observe many things when studying the Old Testament book of
Numbers. However, it can be rather hard work just making it through some of
the early chapters. Specifically the first few chapters which include genealogies,
census numbers and the duties of each tribe of Israel. It can be rather dry and
Regardless of that fact, this fourth book of the Pentateuch written by
Moses, can teach us many things today. The events covered in this book lead
many to call it the "Book of Wanderings" or the "Book of Journeyings." However,
another popular description is the "Book of Murmurings." This is where we'll
take application for today.
The children of Israel had a real bad habit of murmuring (complaining)
and being ungrateful to God Almighty despite all that He had done for them.
One such incident occurs in Numbers 11 where the children of Israel complain
about their diet of manna.
Numbers 11:4 "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'? 5 "We remember the fish which we ate freely in
Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 "but
now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before
There are no fewer than four lessons we can take from this passage of
scripture. 1.) Be careful not to yield to peer pressure. It was not the children of
Israel who started the complaining, but the “mixed multitude" who were among
them. 2.) Be happy with what we have! God promised to provide for the
Israelites and He promises to do the same for us. However, God isn't a magical
genie who grants us our every wish. He’ll provide for our needs, not necessarily
our wants. 3.) Though free, they yearned to go back to a time of
slavery .... actually looking back to Egypt with fondness. We can do the same
thing as Christians. We can be guilty of looking back on some sinful aspect of
our past lives and wish we could still do the very sins Jesus‘ blood cleanses us
from. 4.) Finally, when we yield to peer pressure, when we're not satisfied with
all God has blessed us with and when we look back on our sinful past with
fondness, we will no doubt anger God.
Numbers 11:18-20 "Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you
shall eat. 19 'You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten
days, nor twenty days, 20 'but for a whole month, until it comes out of your
nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD
who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever come up
out of Egypt’?"
You can read Numbers 11:31-33 that God did just as He said he would.
They wanted meat...well they got meat. May we learn some valuable lessons
from the children of Israel whenever we begin to murmur about something in