and said, "If only we had meat to eat!" Numbers 11:4 (NIV)
The Old Testament of the Bible tends to be a bit bloody and gruesome, particularly in the first five books known as the Pentateuch, still I continue to read it as I go through my daily Bible reading.
However, as I was reading through Numbers 11 it was the very first time Verse 4 stuck out like a sore thumb to me. What's worse is, just 2 verses above, God's people had complained about their hardships, and the Lord's anger was aroused and fire from the Lord burned among them, consuming some of them on the outskirts of the camp.
I have bucked authority at times, but if God had just consumed some of my friends for that same reason... I would have kept my mouth closed. I was still trying to understand their complaints... their total lack of understanding of what God was trying to accomplish in their lives.
So, I asked my husband, "Why were they crying out for meat when they came out of Egypt with their herds of cattle and such?" He said, "Good question, but he never thought about it." I also asked others, and once again I was told, "Good question, but they weren't sure why!"
And, then it dawned on me... it hit me straight between my eyes, probably because I was no better than the Israelites!!
"But, I had never heard and I couldn't remember the Israelites EVER giving thanks to the Lord... for anything! God had a plan to bring them out of Egypt and slavery! He was leading them to the "promise land" flowing with milk and honey!! Yet they lacked the intimate relationship with God and what He was trying to develop within them.
While it's true that they had heard and obeyed what the Lord told Moses, they needed to do... it had become a "beaten path... an ordinary course of things to do!" It regrettably held no real meaning... no genuine or absolute thanks that I could see!
While heading off to bed... I was pondering the verses and the people... when I couldn't sleep, I got up and as the tears started to run down my face, I saw "TODAY'S CHURCH!"
My friends are we going through the motions of what we think church should be... OR ARE WE THE CHURCH, THAT GOD WANTS US TO BE??? Do we have that close, intimate relationship with our Lord??
It is very difficult for me to see a hurting animal... so I'm especially disturbed when they had to be slaughtered for the sins of God's chosen people! And, It certainly brings a stark, understanding of the "Cross of Calvary" and what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ endured for my sins!
Still somehow, the true meaning seems lost or missing... I sense that we are off track and the following thoughts and verses once again comes to me...
The Narrow and Wide Gates:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-15
My friend I want... no I need to know I'm on the right path, that leads to the narrow gate and the narrow road that leads to life... but, sadly THE BIBLE TELLS US... only a few will find it.
My hope and prayer is that some of us still have the time... we can still pursue God and His plan for us... we can still develop a lasting relationship with our Savior!!!
We need to make sure we are not just following "what always has been done!"
We must find that narrow road and that narrow gate... our eyes focused on Jesus alone... as we STAY ON COURSE with THANKSGIVING in our hearts For God and God Alone!!