Yearn Not for the Old Life

Saturday, June 23, 2012

“And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat” (Numbers 11:18 KJV).

Israel has been free from Egypt for just over one year (Numbers 1:1). The Jews begin complaining against God, so God in righteous anger literally sends fire to consume some of them (Numbers 11:1-3). Why are they murmuring?

The Jews want to return to their old life in Egypt. Notice what they claimed in today’s Scripture, “For it was well with us in Egypt!” Life in Egypt was “well” for them?! The Jews, like all sinners, refused to follow God, even if it meant returning to Egypt, to once again be brutally treated as slaves and to have their children’s lives threatened (Exodus 1:7-21)!

Israel is hungry for meat, and she longs to return to Egypt and eat that former diet: “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: but now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:5,6).

During verses 7-15, the Jews gather manna and continue complaining, so discouraged Moses talks to God. In today’s Scripture, God instructs Moses to tell Israel that He hears their whining, and if they want flesh, He will give it to them! God will punish them for their rebellion against Him by giving them quail for a whole month, until they are literally sick of it (verses 19-23,31-34)!!

In 1 Corinthians 10:5,6,10, Paul warned the Corinthians not to be like Israel, ungrateful for what God had done for them. Just as Israel should not have wanted to return to Egypt (bondage), we should not want to return to our lost state of bondage to sin (our life before we trusted Christ). Let us stand firm in our identity in Christ, yearning not for the old life!