Deceived Desires & Complaining Christians
Sometimes it’s the good desires that God gives us in the first place that end up leading us into sin. The Israelites desired to eat, drink and survive in the desert as they were led to the Promised Land. Eating, drinking, surviving. All good things. It’s when they were discontent with those things that sin started creeping in. Deceptive desires start off with discontentment. The desire to be loved, accepted, pleasure, justice are all good desires from God for the glory of God to be fulfilled in our relationship with Christ. However we see many people today who chase those things in sinful ways because they are discontent like the Israelites were in the desert.
So what happened after the Israelites became discontent with God’s provision? They complained and grumbled against Moses and ultimately God. In fact, they did it three times. They complained because they doubted God when He had provided for them in the past. They said they would rather be slaves again than a free people who faced hardships in their freedom (Ex. 16:2). Little did they know that God was truly all they needed and He wanted to use this wilderness experience to point them and us to the upcoming Messiah. The very things they complained about in the bread God was providing them with was a picture of Jesus.
Jesus, Our Manna
In Exodus 16:4 we see that the people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. “In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” Clear enough isn’t it? They were to gather every day, except for the Sabbath, because the seventh day was a day of rest. I’m sure you see the application here – Jesus is the true manna from Heaven. We are to feed on Him as Jesus Himself said. That is, we are to find our nourishment and spiritual strength through our relationship with Christ. And notice that they gathered the bread every day. So is the Christian life a daily relationship.
The manna was also a daily reminder of their future promises like Jesus reminds us of:
The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
I think I like this the best! The manna tasted like wafers made with honey. So everyday, if they gathered, God gave them a small taste of what was to come, a small taste of their final destination – the Promised Land “flowing with milk and honey!” So it is with Jesus! The Bible says that we currently “see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor 13:12). It seems a good place to stop as we think of how awesome that day will be when
“…the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
We may only see and experience the Lord Jesus in part right now, but it is certainly a good taste of the wonderful things still to come! And one day soon it will be face to face!
- Are you currently discontent with anything God has given you desires for but is being placed in worldly things?
- Has this caused you to complain as a Christian?
- How has Jesus reminded you of His future promises like He did with the Israelites through the manna?
By: Erik Koliser