The plague of Desire: What do you crave?

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How often do you crave things that you don’t have? I find myself multiple times a day craving things that I don’t have, instead of being happy with where God has me.  I think my life would be better without this…or if only this had not happened…The lack of being content with where God has placed us, and it is ungrateful.  I realize that there is desire that takes over our body like an illness.  It starts off mild, and then all the sudden the thing we longed for, hits us smack in the face, and the very thing we longed for is no longer appealing.  Sometimes God allows us to have the desires of our heart, even when our desires are sick or against his will.  In numbers he allowed the Israelites to have an abundance of quail when they became hungry for more than manna.  Numbers 11:4 says they craved other food:

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!

What do you crave? 

What do you wish you had? 

I find myself in the Israelites shoes at times.  I crave what I don’t have.  The text says God allows them to have their desire in Numbers 11:19-20:

You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it —because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

He gives them such abundance, that the text says they will ‘loathe the food they crave.’  That’s what happens in life.  The food, money, thing, house, job, school, outfit, and whatever we crave, we crave because we think it brings happiness.  When we do this knowingly or unknowingly we reject God and his plan.  I think the Israelites didn’t realize when they first craved meat, that they were directly defying God. That is the way it works, it’s starts off innocent enough.  However, when desire becomes the focus of our thought life, most often the innocent turns to sin. Most of the time when the desire is attained it may bring momentary happiness, but leaves us longing for more…the next thing we crave.  I heard a friend’s sermon, Rod VanSolkm, and he quoted Tim Keller who said “Rachel is always Leah the next day,” and that is fitting for the lesson I learn through the text in Numbers. Just like Rachel, always being Leah the next day, the quail for the Israelites did not cure their longing for Egypt, nor the things of Egypt.  It did not cure them from wanting more, and it led to their death. I have found myself elevate some event, thing, trip, etc… so many times to wake up the next day and find out what I longed for was just junk food that leaves me hungry for more.  Numbers 11:32-34 describes the people collecting quail as they collected it:

All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

As the people were consuming the very thing they craved, a plague broke out because of the Lords’ anger.  The text says they buried people that craved other food, in fact the name of the place where they were buried is Kibroth Hattaavah which means ‘graves of desire’(Kent Dobson, Numbers 11:18-20).  As I take an inventory of my life, I have so many graves of desire, how about you?  The majority of the people it seems from the text, craved other food. I assume that means the majority died. They died because of their own desire for food outside of Gods’ provision.  I sit here and think of all the times I crave or desire things outside of Gods’ will, both knowingly and unknowingly.  I can’t change my past behavior, but I can change my behavior today.  The only thing that truly satisfies is God.  He provides just enough for each day.  He is the only thing that can quench the thirst or fill the hunger/cravings that we have in this life.  When we try to fill ourselves with anything besides him, or go outside his plan it always leaves us wanting more of something else and can even lead to death. I believe in my life He allowed me to have abundance outside his provision to teach me that He alone is God and He alone satisfies.  Although painful lessons have been learned many times…and I am still learning to trust, submit, and obey…He alone sustained me.

 I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God

🙏So today Lord, help me to only crave what you have provided.  I want no more or less than exactly where you have me.  Forgive me for wishing for different circumstances, lack of illness, lack of allergies, forgive me for longing for our life in Munich, forgive me for wishing my family dynamics were different, forgive me for wishing my best friend did not move, forgive me for my blind spots that I can’t see, and anything I have craved that displeases you in any way.  I am sorry for craving things outside of your plan. Thank you for where you have me. Thank you for freedom, mercy, your faithfulness to me, the struggle, pain, tears, joy, illness, allergies, life here in Cincinnati, loss of a friends moving, the ER yesterday, thank you for where you have me today.  Help my desires to be yours my God.

What do you crave? 

I want to crave: More of God and less of myself, Gracious words, His shield, Honey from the rock, being led not trying to lead myself, his abundant water that satisfies, supernatural food in desert seasons, a humbling of my heart, loving others the way he loves me, freedom, and so much more Jesus.

Scripture Used:

Deuteronomy 32:10-13

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him. He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag,

Deuteronomy 29:5-6

Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 32:13

He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag,

 

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