“Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the Lord had burned among them. The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.  But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down. Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the Lord, ‘Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin’.” Numbers 11:4-15 (NIV)


The Israelites left Egypt only to forget the slavery they had experienced. When they were walking through the desert, all they saw were the things they were lacking and the things they left behind. God sent them manna to sustain them on their journey to the Promised Land. They experienced a miracle everyday when food arrived on the ground. Even in the midst of experiencing God’s provision, the wailing commenced. The journey from Egypt to the Promised land would have taken days. However, in Numbers 13, the spies were sent to scope out the land, and the fear of the people consumed them. Interestingly, in this moment in Numbers 11, the dissatisfaction with their current reality and a grumbling spirit were predecessors to entry into the Promised Land. Their attitude jaded their current perspective and influenced their faith. If they couldn’t believe God to provide meat for them, then they wouldn’t be able to believe God to provide victory for them later. The stakes would be greater when they faced giants, and their missed opportunity today foreshadowed their lack of faith tomorrow. The Israelites were looking back at a season with far more glamour than that season actually afforded. They were slaves in Egypt, so the fish actually came at a high cost. Their attitude about their current season was about to cost them exponentially more than they could have imagined. God did provide meat for them; He answered Moses’ prayer. Yet, they would soon face the Promised Land, and a few days in the desert would turn into a lifetime for some of the people.



When God gives us victory in one season, the hardships of the next season can overshadow God’s faithfulness. We can start wishing we were back “there” and forget the great adversity that we faced during the previous season. We forget how God was the answer, not our circumstances. Furthermore, our attitude concerning our present circumstances prepares us for the future. If we can’t believe God today, how will we believe him for victory and provision tomorrow? When we complain against God and stack our “if only” list against Him, it is possible that we will face our destiny and divine opportunities with the same attitude as the Israelites. Instead of faith, fear and complaining can consume us. Gratitude prepares the way for us to receive God’s provision. We don’t know when opportunity will pass by our lives. If we don’t walk in faith believing God, we won’t be prepared to walk into our Promised Land. As with the Israelites, our faith to believe God for future victories is related to our faith to believe God today. As you examine your heart, what do you need to thank God for? An attitude of gratitude will help us not miss the miracle in the midst of this season and lay the foundation for future victory. 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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About Hona Amer

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