Key verse: Numbers 21:5b, "And we detest this miserable bread!"
Okay, I realize that the real interest of this passage is in the healing power of this bronze snake that Moses erected. The possible ties to cultic practices are certainly worth exploring. We could also look at the idea that God would send poisonous snakes to kill the whiners. This passage is not without some trouble spots!
But I want to think about the condition to which we can all relate: lack of appreciation!
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. They were worked to death with no hope of freedom. But when confronted with the unknown and with change, they started complaining about their current status.
"If only God hadn't worked through Moses to set us free!"
Better a slave with a little food in your belly than a freed person starving in the desert?
Except they weren't starving. They had this miraculous bread from heaven. After a while even the miraculous can be questioned. If it comes everyday, it loses some of its charm I suppose.
I love how the Common English Bible words it - "we detest this miserable bread!"
|Agkistrodon contortrix |
When my mother reads this blog in Tulsa, she'll look
at this picture and say, "Eeewww!"
I look at our own country and wonder if we're whining too much and doing too little with what we've been given. I get pretty tired of the entitlement that I see (and I'm guilty of it as well). Most people walk around as if they pulled themselves up from their bootstraps and did everything on their own. Wrong generation.
We live in a country that made it a priority to educate its children - including the girls (not an international value unfortunately). We live in a country that rewards a work ethic and still encourages entrepreneurship. Almost all people are living at higher standards than their parents and grandparents where luxury items are concerned (as well as the leisure time to spend it).
Many times I hear people say, "I don't want my kids to have to work as hard as I did." So they are making it easy on them. And yet at the same time when we ask how people built character, it was struggling through tough times and surviving. I'm not sure we're doing the next generation any favors by trying to take away their struggle.
So as I continue during Lent and reflect upon the Israelites wandering through the desert, I have to evaluate my own life and ask myself, "Am I complaining about the bread again?"
Breath prayer: Generous God, give me gratitude.