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Careful What You Ask For

Words of Faith Final

Careful What You Ask For

Words of Faith 6-8-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 11

    [18] "Tell the people: 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, "If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!" Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. [19] You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, [20] but for a whole month--until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it--because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?" ' "


          I have to admit that I love this story.  Perhaps there is a little bit of the fourth-grade boys Sunday School student in me that laughs at the image of the people eating so much meat that it came out their noses!  “Can we draw pictures, Mrs. Jones?”  My apologies to the squeamish.  But the story also makes a graphic point.  Sometimes, it is wise to be careful what you ask for.

          Moses was so burdened that he asked the Lord if he might just die.  The Lord did not grant this.  Instead, He gave Moses a structure of leadership to help bear the burden.  The people had whined for some meat, and the Lord gave them what they had craved.  

          The Lord commanded the people to prepare for the next day when He would give them so much meat, they would get sick of it. For a month, they would gorge themselves till the meat would come out of their nostrils. 

          Okay, this is probably an exaggerated description. Still, it effectively communicates the truth that those who reject the perfect purposes of God find the alternatives disgusting and undesirable.  The truth is that the very thing that we think will meet our cravings is not only unsatisfying, it often makes us sick when we get it!

           Of course, there was nothing wrong with meat.  The problem was that the people sought something other than the Lord’s provision.  They assumed that they knew better than God what would meet their needs.  They looked to something other than the Lord Himself to fill the emptiness they were feeling.  They gave in to sensuality, the desire to tickle the cravings of the flesh.

          At first reading, we might have difficulty identifying with the Israelites.  But in reality, this is an easy trap in which to fall.  It is easy to question the Lord’s provision and long for something else we remember from the past or that we see on a neighbor’s table.  

         It is easy to look to something other than the Lord to meet our deep needs.  We do so all the time with material things, exotic travels, unusual experiences, and the latest entertainment.  These days the sky is the limit. People pay enormous amounts of money to fly into space or be exhilarated with the latest adventure.

        There may not be anything inherently wrong with material possessions or unusual vacations. The problem is when we attempt to use these things to meet needs and fill the emptiness that only the Lord can fill.  Then there are the unhealthy things that are easy to crave.  Too much food or alcohol.  Inappropriate expression of our God-given sexuality.  Drugs, gambling, and other escapist thrills.  In the end, they all make us sick when we fail to seek the Lord first in our lives.

           How about you?  What are you asking for?  What are you seeking?  Has the Lord already provided in your life?  Is there something you have been seeking after to meet a need the Lord has already met?  Today is a day to change all that.


          Lord, I confess that my only emptiness is found in the times I have failed to seek You.  Fill me to overflowing with the blessing of Your Spirit and wonder of Your daily bread. Forgive me of my complaining.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.