Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. (Numbers 11:1)
As we begin today, let’s take note of the fact that God hears our conversations; He hears our praise and our grumbling. As to the latter, some might think their whisper campaigns are unknown to anyone but a few, but the reality is the LORD hears it and makes note of it. The people of Israel, after witnessing so many miraculous events, still couldn’t help themselves when things weren’t going the way they thought it should — they habitually fell into murmuring and complaining. After awhile, it aroused God’s anger.
Notice also, that these complaints seem to have been among those living on the edge of the camp — that’s where the fire of the LORD broke out. This bit of information suggests something that we all need to take to heart — being on the edge makes us vulnerable to the works of the Adversary. Have you ever watched film of a lioness who is hunting for food? She crouches in the brush and tall grass just waiting for a victim, typically those poor animals who are disconnected from the main part of the herd — in other words, those on the outskirts.
It behooves us, therefore, not to live that way. By that I mean, we don’t need to distance ourselves from anything the LORD is doing and we don’t need to distance ourselves from the main body. Thinking we can go it alone is ludicrous and is usually the byproduct of a bad attitude which usually leads to grumbling and complaining — something the LORD doesn’t care for. So instead of pulling away, let’s press into the midst of God’s purpose and get involved with God’s people. Quit living on the outskirts of the camp and put distance between yourself and those who not willing to draw closer to our God.
Blessings and Shalom,