There’s so much in this passage that we could talk about! The passage starts with letting us know that there were others traveling with the Israelites: “The rabble with them began to crave other food…” These foreigners apparently left Egypt with the Israelites but were not necessarily followers of God. If you read earlier in this chapter you will see that the people had already been complaining about their circumstances and arousing God’s anger. I can only imagine the tension in the camp.
The first thing that sticks out to me is how susceptible we are to being influenced by others. The Israelites, God’s chosen people, allowed the others in their midst to persuade them that God wasn’t taking care of them and that life was better for them back in Egypt. The same thing can happen to us if we allow those that are far from God influence how we see Him. It’s interesting to note that none of the hardships of slavery were brought up….
The next thing that stands out to me is Moses’ response to the people’s complaints. He could have tried to somehow meet their needs on his own, but he didn’t. He cried out to God, the only one who could truly help. There have been so many times in my own leadership when I have felt the pressure of people pressing in on me. Instead of crying out to my Father for help, I’ve worked harder, tried to be “more”. Rarely does that work out well. Moses did the exact right thing – he cried out and God answered by giving him men to help carry the load.
Whenever I read these passages in the Bible I always ask myself if there’s something for me to learn in them. The whole issue of cravings and desires really hit home for me. Many times the things that I crave and desire are not what are best for me. God knows it, but oftentimes I struggle with it and complain. It can be easy for me to forget that my cravings often lead to bondage and that freedom can only be obtained through complete surrender to Jesus. I’m still a work in progress and I’m so grateful for God’s patience with me. He wants us to live in a place of gratitude for all He’s done in our lives and acknowledge that He knows how to best meet our needs.
New Hope Church