And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the utter most parts of the camp. (2) And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. (3) And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. (4) And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? (5) We remember the fish we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: (6) But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. (Numbers 11: 1-6 KJV)
I hate to admit it. I see myself in the behaviors of the children of Israel. The complaining. In verse one it tells us that when Israelites complained that the Lord heard it and it displeased him. To the point where scripture tells us that the fire burned among them. Consuming those in the utter most parts of the camp which simply means that the Lord’s anger reached the greatest and the furthest parts of the Israelites. In order for us to understand God’s anger at the Israelites. We have to take a look back to what God has done for them. The first being that he delivered them out of bondage from the Egyptians. When he brought them out. He brought them out with more than enough. In Exodus 12:36 it tells us that the Lord gave them favor in the sight of the Egyptians. To the point that they gave the Israelites what they required. Let’s not forget that the Lord parted the Red sea and they passed through on dry ground, when they were being chased by their enemies. The Egyptians. The same enemies that God drowned using the same Red sea that he allowed Israel to walk on through(Exodus 14:27-29). He went before them by pillar of a cloud in the day. By night it was a pillar of fire (Exodus 13 :21). The Lord gave them fresh water to drink when they were in the wilderness. When they couldn’t drink of the waters of Marah, because it was bitter (Exodus 15:22-25). The Lord fed them bread from heaven (Manna) when the Israelites cried about not having anything to eat (Exodus 16: 3-4). This is also the same God who forgave them when they erected a golden calf and worshipped it. Giving it the glory for bringing them out of captivity. (Exodus 32). That golden calf represents how we think we made it out on our own. Without the guiding hand of God over our lives. The Israelites worshipped what they built with their own hands. They gave it the credit. For what only God could do. We need to be careful. That we don’t worship the golden calf in our lives. When it is God who delivered us. Who made a way for us. This is just a few of the things that the Lord had done for them. Since bringing them out of Egypt. So when they complained. God heard them. Imagine going out of your way for someone and they constantly complain. I am going to be transparent God had to show this about me. I am in a place where I never wanted to be. Dependent on others. I fell on some serious hard times over the past two years. Now, I am in a season of literally starting over and my brother and his family has opened up their home to me. Sacrificed so much for me asking nothing of me. Yet, I complained when I resented not having the freedom to move how I wanted to move. When I wanted to move. God had to show me that to him (my brother) it comes across as ungrateful. When so much was sacrificed for me. It’s the same with the Israelites. Over and over again we see in scripture. The complaints that they had against Moses and Aaron, but most importantly the complaints they had against the Lord God. Complaining tells God that we don’t trust him to take care of us and our needs. Even though he has proven himself. Time and time again.
(3) And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. (4) And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, who shall give us flesh to eat? (5) We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick. (6) But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all beside this manna, before our eyes. (Exodus 11:3-6 KJV)
One of the places that the Israelites had to pass through in their Exodus. Was a place called Taberah. Which means burning, because of their constant complaining. They had to go through the burning or rather I could say the anger of the Lord. This is a place that could’ve been avoided altogether. It was the complaining against the Lord even after he showed his hand to them time and time again. By a certain part in our walk with God. We should look back and realize what God has done for us in spite of us. As I was studying this. God showed me that there is a difference between complaining against God. What we think he’s not doing or should be doing. Throwing a temper tantrum. Then there’s taking our complaints to God. An example of that would be something like Lord, I know you to supply all of my needs, but currently I am not liking where I am. The difference between the two is that instead of complaining and coming off as ungrateful for what he has done and is doing. In the latter we take it to God and voice our concerns. God understands our concerns, but he also wants for us to remember who he is and what he brought us from. How he supplies for us. In verse 4 scripture tells us that a lusting fell on them and again the children of Israel begin to weep. They asked the question. Who shall feed us flesh? Now lusting is simply a great desire. They asked who shall feed us flesh. In other words who is going to feed our flesh. They had begin to desire and crave the things of the flesh. That to the point in verse 5 that they began to reminisce and long for what they had back in Egypt. They longed for the lifestyle that they had back when they were in bondage. In verse 5 they begin to name some of the things. Fish and melons, leeks, etc. Which they made the comment. Which we ate freely. They must have forgot that they were in captivity. Nothing was free! They were overworked, exhausted and tired. They had to go through their sons being killed, because Pharoah feared them being stronger. Now, because they are in a place. Where they don’t fully understand, nor do they trust where God is leading them. They wanted to go back into what God led them out of because they desired the things that didn’t profit them nothing. They desired the things that were fleeting. Not understanding that what God was feeding them food from heaven. In verse 6 they said all we have is this manna. Meaning that they despised the food that was given them. What they longed for back in Egypt. Only fed the flesh. A lot of the times what we long for in our past. Is the things that fed our flesh. Sex, fast money, material possessions, drugs and alcohol. We forget the bondages that comes attached with these things. The Israelites forgot the bondage that came with the fish that they so desired. The manna didn’t look so appealing compared to what they were use to consuming, but what they failed to realize is that the Lord was providing food for them that would sustain them. In their journey. Don’t despise the manna that God is feeding us in our journey. Cause it looks like they are eating better from where we left. They are not! Don’t forget that where you came from you were tied up. One of the most repeated complaints that the Israelites uttered was. It would have been better. If we stayed in Egypt. No, it would not have been better. That should be one utterance that should never come out of our mouths. Children of God and that is. That it would have been better if we stayed in the world. Why? So we can be bound to sin again? As children of God. We are fed the word of God. Which is our manna. His word sustains us in our journey. In a way that with what God brought us out never could. I implore you to finish reading this chapter on your own. It talks about how God turned them over to their desires. He let them have what they wanted, but how it destroyed them. In verse 33. It tells how before the flesh was between their teeth. That the Lord’s anger was kindled to them. It was kindled because after all he had done for them. Some of them still desired to feed their flesh. Don’t let fleshly desires kindle God’s anger towards you.