Contentment

What Do I Crave?

No good thing does he withhold from those that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 (NASB)

For over a year as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness, God graciously provided manna every morning. But they were tired of eating manna, so in Numbers 11 they voiced their displeasure to Moses: “we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” (v. 6)

Three times in this chapter we are told that God’s anger was aroused against His people (v. 1, 10, 33). The people scorned God’s provision. Moses questioned God’s sovereignty, His justice, and His ability to fulfill His promise. God was not amused.

To the people God said, “you will eat meat . . . until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it” (v. 18-19). To Moses He said, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you” (v. 23).

The next morning God sent quail, thousands of quail. For 36 hours the people gathered the quail—each person over 100 bushels, that’s about 120 grocery bags (v. 32). And then while they were still eating it, God struck them with a plague and many people died; therefore “the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food” (v. 34).

Kibroth Hattaavah means “graves of craving.”  To scorn God’s gifts and to crave what He does not provide is sin. What do I crave? Justice? Financial security? More recognition? A quick solution to my problems?

Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). The Greek word translated “content” is autarkes. It means “possessing enough to need no aid or support; satisfied with one’s lot in life.”* When Paul wrote these words, he was confined in a Roman prison. Have I learned the lesson of contentment? Do I thank God daily for all His blessings? Or am I constantly badgering Him for more?

Earlier in Philippians 4, Paul said, “Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace” (vv. 6-7, NLT). That’s the recipe for contentment.

DIG DEEPER:

In Numbers 11, both Moses and the Israelites doubted God’s goodness. So did Eve in Genesis 3:1-6. What was the result of her doubt and discontent?

What are the conditions of God’s promises in Romans 8:28-29, Psalm 37:4, and Psalm 84:11?

Read Psalm 63:1-4.  What did David earnestly desire? What did he consider “better than life”?

Denise K. Loock

*https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G842&t=KJV

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