At this point in our study we find ourselves around the campfire with the Israelites after they have been brought out of Egypt. Remember that God had delivered them from the hand of Pharoah. They had seen their God deliver them from the horrible plagues that affected the Egyptians. They had seen their mighty God part the Red Sea. He went before them by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire. God even provided their food by giving them their daily portion of manna.
Even though the manna was provided by God Himself, they were be sick of it. They began to crave meat. The Amplified Bible says,"the rabble among them began to lust greatly for familiar food"(Exodus 11:4). Rabble means the "collection of grumblers". There they were, sitting around the fire reminiscing about the good old days. When they were still in Egypt. "They remembered the fish they ate freely in Egypt and without cost, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic." v.5
Without cost! The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for 470 years. They had seen Pharoah throw their male babies into the Nile River to be eaten by crocodiles. They had been mistreated for 470 years. Their enslavement had cost them plenty.
God decided to give them what they wanted. He sent them the meat they longed for. Quail as far as the eye could see. He gave it to them until they were literally sick of it and it disgusted them. Psalm 106:15 says, "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their souls."
Kelly Minter says: "We deceive ourselves when we think our gods will bring us anything but leanness of soul. In the Israelites' case, they were offered the minimalist diet of manna so that their souls could feast on the Lord (remember, He didn't want them to live by bread alone). Instead, they craved the richness of quail while their souls starved."
I am so quick to criticize the Israelites. How could they reject their God given manna? How could they forget that God had delivered them from Egypt? I have been to Egypt and I wanted to get out as fast as I could! They had the very presence of God with them all the time in a cloud by day and fire by night. Yet aren't I gulity of doing the same thing? God generously provides for me on a daily basis. He gave His only Son for me, so that I could live forever with Him. His presence goes with me always. His spirit dwells within me. But I grumble. I want what I don't have. I am like the rabble among them. Looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. Trading His provision for my leanness of soul.
And this is the promised land.
Sisters, God wants to bring us out of our deserts and into the beauty that He has for us. Oh Lord, I pray that we can turn loose of those things that we think are good, the things that we hold so tightly to. Bring us into your promised land. We want to trade the leanness of our souls for the Fullness of You.