“And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).TEXT — Numbers 11:31-35
The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher, Phillips Brooks, was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day, a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What’s the trouble, Mr. Brooks?” he asked. “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!” Haven’t we felt the same way many times?
The Israelites in our text had, by now, gained a reputation for impatience and unbelief.
Their perennial manner of wanting to force the hands of God whenever they were in need was a recurrent decimal. On this particular occasion, the mixed multitudes led the protest. Their demands this time were for the flesh, which their souls lusted after. Moses sneaked out of the camp into the presence of God – almost resigning unceremoniously – because he could not bear the burden anymore. God promised to respond by sending able helpers to assist in the work and to provide an answer to the people’s desires.
God kept His promise by sending a multitude of quails, which fell around the camp in abundance. But while the people were still eating the meat, without any show of gratitude to God, judgment fell and God punished them with a great plague.
In analyzing the situation in today’s passage, we need to clearly separate the issues.
The problem was not about hunger or thirst, but the method with which they chose to press home their needs. Their verbal attack on Moses, combined with their utter disrespect for God, took away every pity and compassion they should get.
Leadership is a herculean task, especially when it involves leading a group of impatient and unthankful people. Impatience portrays immaturity. Patience produces peaceable and beneficial fruits of righteousness, divine favor, and rewardable outcomes of decisions taken while allowing God to have His way.
Thought for the day
Patience and success are eternal associates.
- in one year
- JOHN 13 – 15