As I was reading in Numbers, I came across a very interesting passage about yielding to craving. Let’s take a look and see what we can learn.
Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”Numbers 11:4-6 NKJV
So while the Israelites where in the desert, they started to long for the food that they had back in Egypt. Now they weren’t hungry as they were being fed with manna, but they started to give into the hunger for different tastes. And then they began to cry out and ask who would give them meat. They thought back to Egypt and said it would have been better to be back in Egypt as slaves then to be in the Wilderness being fed by there God. Now if you notice, they didn’t even ask God for meat, but instead they complained about how Egypt was better. And not only that, but they were ungrateful over the manna from heaven, that they didn’t even have to work for other than to gather it. So you can see why the Lord would have been upset over the Israelites.
Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased.Numbers 11:10 NKJV
Now the Israelites were literally crying about how they had been redeemed from Egypt because they didn’t have the food they were used to. Unbelievable how they so quickly forgot about their slavery. The story continues as the Lord provides meat for the people, even though they never really asked for it but only because Moses spoke with God for their sake. And in the same instance, the elders are given the spirit that was on Moses to help Moses bear the burden of the people. So let’s see what happens next.
But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving.Numbers 11:33-34 NKJV
As they ran out to fulfill their craving, not stopping to praise God or thank Him for this miracle, God’s anger was aroused. Then He sent a plague into the Israelites to strike the people for their lusts and because of that they called the place Kibroth Hattaavah. Now Kibroth Hattaavah means graves of lust. It is interesting that the Spirit was given to the Elders to deal with this lusting and complaining of the Israelites, just as the Spirit is given to us to given us power over the lusts of the flesh.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Galatians 5:24-25 NKJV
We can see from this story that a shadow of the New Covenant is being brought into light. In Christ, we have freedom from slavery to the flesh just as Israel had freedom from their slavery in Egypt. The Spirit of God empowers us with teaching and discipline to escape our slavery. But how exactly does one live in the Spirit? Well, that topic could easily be another blog post if not a book! But to give you it in short, living in the Spirit is walking in obedience to the Spirit. And the one thing that will keep you from walking in obedience to the Spirit is pride and lack of communication. Pride will keep you from obeying, and lack of communication will keep you from knowing what to do. The first thing that we must do if we desire to walk in the Spirit is we have to develop good communication with God. That means time spent in the Word and in prayer. Secondly we must take a stance of humilty toward God so that we can walk out the instructions that He gives us. If you can do this, you will start the journey of walking in the Spirit.