“You (Israelites) have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, ‘Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.’ Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat…until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you…” (Numbers 11:18-20)
The verses sure do convey a disgusting picture, but they hit me with such truth as I read them. The entire passage of Numbers 11 shows a people who were not thankful for what the Lord had given them, but instead were consumed with desire for what they did not have, for what they thought they needed.
These verses took me back years in my life when I rejected the Lord. I mean, I outright rejected the Lord. I grew up in church, but as I got swept away in selfish living in my college years, I had not an ounce of thankfulness for the blessings he had bestowed upon me up to that point. In my warped mindset, I even declared, “I don’t need you God. Get away from me.” All I could focus on was what I wanted and what I believed could bring me happiness. I said yes to the world and no to God. Not a great move.
So, after years of pursuing me to turn to him, God said to me, “You want this so badly? You think you know what is best? Ok, have it your way. You can have it until it becomes loathsome to you.” And it did. God showed me that getting exactly what I wanted could be quite sickening. God freed me up to have all that I thought I needed; he let all of my selfish dreams come true. And in the end, I was just like the Israelites who ended up choking on the quail they wanted so badly. It was loathsome.
God didn’t want me to learn the hard way, but that is what I chose in my lack of contentment with what he had given me. The verses in Numbers 11 provide a stern, yet wise, reminder to be thankful for the amazing blessings and grace God has poured out on me. They remind me that God’s provisions are always the best and that I should not strive for the things that God so wisely does not want to give me.