Bible Reference: Numbers 21:4-5
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 4 Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, 5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”
OBSERVATION: It would be easy to read this Scripture and criticize the Israelites for their ungratefulness, but can you see yourself in the picture painted above? Let us consider for a few moments today whether we are among the blessed, but still ungrateful….
APPLICATION: Unless you stop to consider your blessings, you might easily get caught up in the idea that all you enjoy each day is just a normal part of life. In other words, you may take for granted all that you enjoy each day, and that it is automatically provided just for you. Unfortunately, when you do this, you become depressed and despondent, like the Israelites, when things are not going the way that you are expecting. But the Israelites showed us how one might react when things are not going as expected. For in spite of all God had done for them already, and all that He continued to do each day for them, yet the Israelites were ready to complain/criticize God and His servant Moses, for what they saw as not enough variety in their meals, and not enough water, and for the extra walk, that was really necessary for their own safety. But what about us, surely we are not that ungrateful, right? May I suggest that you think about this reminder more fully my friend? Don’t you remember waking up to thunder, lightening and rain on a day that you had other plans, and how you whined and complained about yet another day of rain, even though your neighbor had been crying for more rain to help his garden grow better? And don’t forget about the aches and pains that we complain about to all of our friends, or the quality of the food that was provided for us out of the goodness of our neighbors last night, or perhaps the diminishing eyesight as you grow older, etc, etc, etc! Friends, if we look at life as a blessing from God, which it truly is, and if we accept all aspects of life as God-directed, God-blessed, God-ordained and God’s perfect will for our lives, then we should automatically explode in awesome praise when we awake to raindrops on our window, or a car that won’t start, or more money that we could possibly spend in a given week (ha!), for God has a plan for us and He wants to protect us and bless us beyond our ability to understand or appreciate. But let us be deliberate in praising our Master every day for all things, for He truly loves us and, I believe that, He truly wants us to flourish in His many blessings that He careful pours out on us every day.
PRAYER: Father God, thank You for Your loving kindness to the Israelites, in spite of their ungratefulness. Having recognized that we have not learned any good lessons from the Israelites, we must ask Your forgiveness and plead with You for Your ongoing patience with us as we learn to recognize Your goodness and Your mercy towards us. You are an awesome God, and I am thankful for Jesus and the forgiveness of my sins, so that I may call You Father. Oh how I long for my readers and I to one day look full into Your wonderful face and sing endless praises to our King! In the meantime, please help us to do just that each and every day, especially those days when we seem to think that circumstances should be different. AMEN!