“They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.” Psalm 78:18
When I was pregnant with our first child, I remember sending PB out in the middle of the night for Honey Nut Cheerios. There was to be no peace, no sleep, no satisfaction until that bowl of sweet, crunchy goodness was in my hands and in my tummy. I just had to have some.
Occasionally, I still get a hankering for something sweet and find an excuse to drive down to the gas station for some licorice. We live in a world where it’s fairly easy to satisfy our cravings. In or out of season, we have an array of fruit and vegetables in our stores all year round. Restaurants show off their revolving dessert cases and we are bombarded with tv ads that create an appetite for thick, gooey, cheesy pizza that’s just a phone call and 15 minutes away from our salivating mouths.
After almost a year of a steady diet of manna (that heavenly food that showed up outside their tents every morning) the Israelites out in the desert began to complain. Again. Only this time they took it up a notch. “Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent.” (Numbers 11:10) The folks were wailing, and why? Their mouths were watering for a taste of home: “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost – also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.” (Numbers 11:5)
They seemed to be forgetting that along with those yummy leeks and onions came slavery, bitter hardship and beatings from the hands of ruthless slave masters. It’s odd what we remember when looking back at the “good old days”. The Bible says that God caused the people to hunger and then fed them bread from heaven. He had to drive out the old cravings in order for the people to develop a taste for divine food. I think God’s still in the business of training our taste buds. My desires for security and significance can only be satisfied by Him, not a person, or a career, or a new toy. Or Honey Nut Cheerios.