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Graves of Craving

Words of Faith Final

Graves of Craving

Words of Faith 6-11-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Numbers 11

    [31] Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day's walk in any direction. [32] All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. [33] But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. [34] Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

    [35] From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.


         The Lord fulfilled His promise!  He delivered the very thing that the people had craved.  A strong wind from the sea blew uncounted numbers of quail across the camp. The normal flight pattern of these quail to this day is northeasterly from the interior of Africa. The wind must have been from the southeast, a most unusual phenomenon, driving the birds northwest across the Sinai.

        The Lord caused the quail to fly about three feet above the ground so the people could easily capture them or club them to the ground. This interpretation seems much better than the commonly held impression that the quail were piled up in a layer three feet thick a day’s walk in every direction from the camp. You do the math. 

       Whatever the case, there was a LOT of quail!  For two days and a night, the over-flight continued till every gatherer had accumulated at least 10 homers (not the baseball-type) or about 60 bushels of quail.  Soon after the people began their orgy of lustful gluttony, the LORD unleashed His wrath against them. He sent a severe plague that killed many of them.

         The Hebrew name given to this place is revealing.  Kibroth Hattaavah means “graves of craving.”  It was here that they buried the people who had craved other food. Their sin was a rejection of the Lord and His bountiful provision in favor of an unbridled appetite. The Apostle Paul similarly described the enemies of Christ saying “Their god is their stomach” (Phil. 3:9).

         There is a powerful message here.  The greater enemy of the people was not some outside enemy; it was their own flesh!  When the Bible talks about "the flesh," this is our sinful tendency to choose our own way over God's Spirit.  Part of our flesh is the actual appetites. 

         We have a variety of God-given human appetites, which must be filled appropriately in the ways marked out by the Lord.  The problem is that these same appetites can run rampant in our lives if they are unrestrained.  The unbridled appetite for food, alcohol, sex, pleasure, excitement, sleep, control, achievement, possessions, and other similar things can lead to destruction.  The text calls this destruction “the graves of craving.” 

          The answer is in surrender to God's Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit includes self-control.  The Spirit is the only answer for curbing and controlling the flesh's appetites for the things, tastes, and experiences of this world. 

           Is there a part of your life that is out of control?  Is there a craving that is threatening to destroy you?  Is there an appetite you cannot control?  We live in a world of unbridled appetites and cravings.  There is no other way but to surrender to the Spirit. 

          It also helps to get some help!  There are great support and recovery groups all across the nation and around the world.  There is hope.  The text ends by saying that the people moved on.  Not everyone succumbed to their appetites.  Some found strength in the Lord to move on toward the Land of Promise.


         Father, help me to keep things in balance.  I know that there are things around me that are tempting.  Some appetites must be met only in the right way, at the right place and at the right time.  Other appetites must be left alone completely.  I surrender to Your Spirit.  Develop in me the fruit of Your Spirit.  Give me self-control. Keep me faithful on the journey toward Your Promise.  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.