“But now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Numbers 11:6)
As I mentioned in the previous devotion, God always gives us what we need but not necessarily everything we want. In fact, it is my view that most of those times when He gave His people what they wanted, it was not what they needed. In this case, we see that the manna — the heavenly bread — was enough to satisfy hunger but did not satisfy their lusts for the things of Egypt, which is to say, the things of the past. They dared to disdain the food God gave them and preferred the food man supplied to them. When we consider that the manna represented the Word of God, and even more importantly the Messiah, no wonder their grumbling incited God to anger.
Now let us compare Israel’s response to God’s food with the prophet Daniel’s response to Babylon’s food. When provided with all of the delicacies the king of Babylon had to offer, the Bible says that Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). Those who remember that story know that, in the end, Daniel looked healthier than all of the others who had eaten the king’s food (By the way, this included many of Daniel’s countrymen). Thus, we have this sharp contrast between those who are quick to reject what God has to offer and those purpose in their heart to reject what the world has to offer.
It behooves us all to take note of this contrast and, like Daniel, be prepared to take a stand when the world seduces us with “meat and wine.” It is my strong opinion that, by not providing them with the food of Egypt, God wanted His people to be purged of everything regarded as Egyptian — including their gods and philosophies. Whereas Daniel stands out as an example of those who are determined to live a set apart life regardless of circumstance or consequence. And so, let us close with a warning that Paul gave to our generation in his first letter to Corinth. Recalling all the mistakes the Exodus generation made, he said, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). Good advice, indeed.
Blessings and Shalom,