I’ve been reading in Numbers the past few days during my devotions. Numbers gets a bad wrap because of it’s name. Sure, the first few chapters deal with numbers, but the Hebrew name, “In the Wilderness” is actually more descriptive. It’s one of my favorite Old Testament books.
Anyway, yesterday I read from chapter 20 when Moses strikes the rock at Meribah in order to provide water for the people. Verses 2-5 say:
There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. The people blamed Moses and said, “We wish we had died in the LORD’s presence with our brothers! Did you bring the LORD’s people into this wilderness to die, along with all our livestock? Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us here to this terrible place? This land has no grain, figs, grapes, or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”
This whole situation amazes me. These are people who saw firsthand how God delivered them from Egypt. Plague of frogs, anyone? Locusts? Hail? Death of every firstborn? What about when Moses raised his staff and God parted the Red Sea? Ring a bell Israelites? What about the fact that everyday you go out and pick up Manna to eat? Remember the mountain where God met with Moses? What about a few chapters prior to this when the ground opened up, swallowed Korah and his family and then closed up again?
You’d think that these experiences would be somewhere in their minds….
Yet, the Israelites find something to complain about. They quickly forget about the great things God has done for them and begin to hold a massive pity party.
This happens today, too.
People lose sight of what’s important. Usually that simply involves people turning their attention to themselves. I need this. I want that. Gee, those figs in Egypt were good.
This sad, shortsighted view of life refuses to look at the big picture. It refuses to remember the past or to realize that there is hope for the future.