And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. – Num. 11:33 KJV
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It seems grumbling, murmuring and complaining is in the DNA of the Israelites. In the course of their journey from Egypt to the promised land, they on several occasions had something to always complain about, in fact their complaining was what eventually;
1. Changed the duration of their journey, as being said, from 40 days to 40 years.
2. Prevented an entire generation from not only witnessing the fulfilment of the promise of God but actually dying in the desert – Num. 13:1-32.
3. Prevented Moses from reaping the reward of his 40 years service to God in the wilderness – Deut. 32: 51-52.
In the opening verses of Chapter eleven of the book of Numbers, there was a record of them just completing another round of grumbling for which reason fire came from the Lord and consumed them – Num. 11:1. That however did not stop them from grumbling again as this time, their complaint was with what God had allocated to them. According to them, they had, had enough of this food called “manna”, which God had been serving since they left Egypt. They claimed to remember all those sumptuous meals that they ate in Egypt and wanted a change of diet. So when God sent another round of manna, they expressed their displeasure to Moses. The Almighty God himself regarded this act of the Israelites as lust (Num. 11:4, 34) and he was very unhappy with them such that by the time Moses was reporting to God and expressing his worries about their demand (Num. 11:10-15), God Himself had already taken a decision not only to relieve Moses of some of the burden of the people (Num. 11: 16-17) but to also meet the request of the people for meat – Num. 11: 18-20.
Although Moses was wondering where the meat to feed the people was going to come from, as being promised by God (Num. 11: 21-24), he went ahead to carry out the instructions of God and God did as he said. Coming down from heaven, he took of the spirit of Moses and shared it among the seventy appointees of Moses (Num. 11:25-30) before sending out a powerful wind that brought in quail from the sea, more than enough for them to gather (Num. 11:31) but alas, as they had it in their mouth, death came from the Lord and struck down majority of them, the reason being that they lusted – Num. 11: 32-33.
Lust remains a major reason why people will grumble and murmur. This is because one who is lusting most times has something in front of him but just decides to look out for what is in front of another person and that becomes what is strongly desired, even though he/she will not be able to openly express it so he operates in low tones. Although it is used mostly in relation to love and sex, in this context, it used in relation to food and lack of contentment which is the real foundation of lust. The Bible says godliness with contentment is great gain – 1Tim. 6:6. One who is not contented can never be grateful as he is always seeing what other people have that he/she does not have whilst never appreciating what he/she has.
One who lacks contentment can be viewed also as a greedy person because the strong desire for what belongs to another does not indicate willingness to drop what he/she is presently holding.
Christians need to be very careful about this vice that presents like a legitimate act of being ambitious but in actual fact is the terrible act that can lead to covetousness, a vice that God clearly is against – Ex. 20:17. There is the need to be sure that, that prayer request is not the product of lust. This is not unusual, with people lusting after other people’s divine gift instead of concentrating on what they have and using it in a manner that will attract more from the giver – Matt. 25: 14-30. Continuous pressure on the Lord for that request, like all your existence depends on it, may actually make God grant the request but with very negative consequences.
Others who do not know why sadness came immediately after receiving what looks like an answer to that long awaited prayer request begin to look for evil forces to blame without realising that God can be behind such acts as a punishment for lust.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians prayed that what he loves should not harm him just as what will harm him should not interest him because he is aware that not all good things are rewarding and can uphold a man – 1Cor. 10:23. Filter that prayer request and be sure you are not making the request based on lust so as to avoid negative consequences that immediately follow such answered prayers.
- You may however be going through pain on that new achievement such as a new car that you did everything to buy because according to you, everyone has a new car or that new house that you went all the way to acquire because every of your mate are now landlords. You are not everyone so be contented with who you are and what you have. Do not be quick to look for enemies in that situation as you may be reaping the reward of your lustful desire. You can still approach God with a repentant heart rather than trying to identify non existent enemies to spiritually attack. A contented lifestyle is the best lifestyle. Make the best use of what God has given you and watch that same God grant you more. Make your requests to him in prayer based on what you need and not what others have that you will intensely like to have, when what you have can still do what you need to get done. May God grant us all the spirit of contentment and give us the strength to banish lust in all its forms from our thoughts in Jesus name. Amen.