“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?’” (Numbers 11:4)
The children of Israel had begun their journey from Mount Sinai and were headed to the Promised Land. God had provided them with food to eat by giving them manna from heaven each day (Exodus 16:4-36). They could visibly see that God was leading them by the cloud that led them by day (Numbers 10:34).
However, when they left Egypt not only did the children of Israel depart but a “mixed multitude” (which probably included some God-fearing Egyptians) went with them (Exodus 12:38). Now that “mixed multitude” was no longer content with the manna God had provided for them to eat. They give in to an “intense desire” to have meat. As a result the children of Israel also become discontent with the manna God has provided and also ask for meat to eat (Numbers 11:4).
As I read this I can’t help but ask myself, “How often do I fail to be content with what God has provided for me?” Like the “mixed multitude” it is so easy for me to take my eye off rejoicing in the things which God has given to me (e.g. my family, my relationship with Him, my job, my health, my daily food, etc.) and begin to become discontent by moaning over the things which He has not chosen to give me (e.g. excessive wealth, perfect health, the “perfect” family). Like Israel, I often times listen to those around me (e.g. TV commercials, my peers, etc.) instead of listening to God and this breeds discontentment in my heart and I make myself miserable.
As Christians it is vitally important that we “learn” contentment. We all have desires that we struggle with that can lead to sin (James 1:14-15). The key is to not let these desires become “intense desires” by dwelling on these desires instead of on God and submitting ourselves to His Will. God has provided us with so many blessings! I will take time today to rejoice in what God has given me and work on not letting Satan lead my heart astray through discontentment.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11)