Devotional: Ungratefulness and Rejection


Read: Numbers 11
In this chapter, God suffers ungratefulness and rejection from His chosen people. I realize that this despicable attitude is something I am guilty of many times.

Marked:

3 So that place was called Taberah,[a] because fire from the Lord had burned among them.
5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”
10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.
13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.
17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.
18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it.
19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days,
20 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?”’”
21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’
22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”
23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
25 When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.
26 Two men, Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp.
28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”
29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
34 The place was named Kibroth Hattaavah because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

Reflections

  • We naturally complain when in hardship even though we know God is around. God is not pleased when I complain.
  • We can get tired of the blessings we receive because we are ungrateful and we are covetous.
  • Man left to his own desires becomes self-destructive. Like pigs we let go of our cleanness and prefer rather to revel in the mud.
  • We can detest having to work for things and would rather choose the easy and convenient path even if it is headed in the wrong direction.
  • God was angry with their complaint while Moses was troubled. He wasn’t angered at the way they are behaving towards God. He was focused on the burden he felt from the weight of solely managing the people.
  • Moses was consumed with the thought that the task was too heavy for him to bear. He left God out of the equation.
  • God brings people alongside of us to relieve us of our burdens.
  • We must be empowered with His Spirit if we are to succeed in our tasks. · The Israelites believed they were better off in Egypt.
  • We reject God when we complain about His plan and when we regret following His direction for our lives.
  • Moses doubted God’s capacity to provide a month’s supply of meat for 600,000 men and their families.
  • Moses was approaching the problem logically. There weren’t enough animals for supply and it’s impossible for the sea to sustain the need.
  • We tend to lose sight of how great and powerful God is. We fail to grasp that He is above all and over all.
  • The empowerment of the Holy Spirit can manifest in speaking in tongues.
  • There is no exclusivity when it comes to doing ministry. Joshua was jealous for Moses’ exclusive position but that’s not how serving God works.
  • When we think that 1 plain km = 100,00 cm or 10,000 quails. How many quails do you get with 16.18 sq km!
  • Each person collected at least 10 homers! And 1 homer =528 kgs heavy.
  • Men are natural complainers, Christians or not.
  • Scriptures say to pray and we should do so instead of complain.
  • God is not pleased with our complaining because it is a lack of trust and understanding of who God is and what He can do and what He knows about us and everything.
  • Men are naturally covetous, Christian or not. We desire what we don’t have and often, we don’t appreciate what we have. This is because we are ungrateful.
  • Even believers tend to despise and reject what’s best for them. In our foolishness, we often choose what’s bad over what’s good.
  • Men are naturally lazy, even Christians. We are not often motivated to put in the work. · Moses felt troubled and overwhelmed because he saw himself as doing the work and bearing the burden, not God.
  • God uses other people to share the burden with us.
  • God empowers us with His Spirit.
  • Our minds can deceive us into thinking that our own ways are better, even if it bears captivity. · When we complain and regret our former life and self, we reject God and His will for our lives.
Observations
  • God responds by posing Moses a question: vs 23 “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” and challenges Moses: “Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
  • Moses gathered the elders at the tent of meeting and when the Holy Spirit came on the elders, they prophesied. It happened just that one time.
  • 2 enlisted elders did not gather with them, Eldad and Medad. But Spirit also rested on them even as they stayed in the camp.
  • Joshua felt they had to be stopped and urged Moses to do so. · Moses perceived Joshua’s jealousy for his sake.
  • Moses had no problem with what happened. He actually desired for all the Lord’s people to be prophets and to have the Spirit come upon them.
  • God saw their complaining and regret of leaving Egypt as a sign of rejection.
  • Moses gathered the elders at the tent of meeting and when the Holy Spirit came on the elders, they prophesied. It happened just that one time.
  • 2 enlisted elders did not gather with them, Eldad and Medad. But Spirit also rested on them even as they stayed in the camp.
  • Joshua felt they had to be stopped and urged Moses to do so.
  • Moses perceived Joshua’s jealousy for his sake.
  • Moses had no problem with what happened. He actually desired for all the Lord’s people to be prophets and to have the Spirit come upon them.
  • The place were the complainers died for eating quail is Kibroth Hattaavah. There they buried THE people who had craved other food.
Interesting measurements: 
  • Average quail= 10cm. Tall quails = 25 cm. 1 cubit = 52 cms (either 5 quails on top of each other or 2 tall quails) 2 cubits= 104 cms (either 10 quails on top of each other or 10 tall quails) 2 cubit deep quails stretched in all direction as far as a day’s walk.
  • The average modern American can do 2.5 to 3 miles a day.
  • 2.5 miles = 6.25 square miles (2.5 x 2.5) 6.25 square miles= 16.18 square km.
  • 1 homer = 220 liters = 528 kilos (2.41kg per 1 liter)
Response:
Today I ask for forgiveness for how I belittle and disrespect You. I realize how foolish it is to doubt the wisdom of your ways. I realize how loathful it is when I become ungrateful in spite of all the blessings and privileges you grace my life and my family with. Forgive me God and help me to have a correct appreciation of who you are and what you do for me. Create in me a clean heart and remove ungratefulness from my spirit. And help me to move towards your direction for my life and not go back to my old ways, old life, old mindset. Keep my heart and mind anew. Strengthen mo to live a new life and a new purpose.

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