Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A note about hardships...

This morning I was reading in Numbers (about the Israelites in the wilderness) and I came across something really interesting.

1 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped. 3 After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means “the place of burning”), because fire from the Lord had burned among them there.

Notice that it says soon they began to complain about their hardship. God hears what they're saying! He isn't ignoring or denying the fact that the wilderness is hard; it also seems to me that the Israelites had probably been doing alright not complaining up to this point. Obviously WE can see that their complaining spirit had been inwardly bubbling; eventually spilling out of their heart and through their confession. They had gotten comfortable and familiar with the provision/miracle/answer. THIS is when the Lords' anger blazed against them.

In just a few verses later we hear some of what they are complaining about:

“Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. 5 “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!

God wasn't mad that it was hard for them. He made them human, he knows its hard but He had equipped them with promise and help in time of need.! Every night He would send manna, it was always there when they woke up each day.

Suddenly, I find myself laughing! If you were to take a literal translation of the word "manna" and insert it into verse 6 it would read something like this:

That makes the complaint sound kinda funny doesn't it? It should be praise!
I imagine that this is why God turned the place of their complaint to Taberah (which means “the place of burning”). There is no room for provision where complaint lives! So you're refining fire isn't something to rebuke...it is making room for unexpected miraculous provision.

My note about hardships today: God understands your hardship, your wilderness, your pain; and he cares! so much in fact that he DOES supply unexpected miraculous provision and he is working it out in the midnight hours! Pastor Shane said it best "God has his hand on your need and your supply" So let his supply outweigh the hardship, watch your confession and never forget his faithfulness. He has miracles for you today!