Numbers 11:31-35 – Be Careful What You Wish For…You Just Might Get It!

Posted: August 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

Numbers 11:31-35

The Lord Sends Quail

 

They say that one out of every two first marriages will end in divorce. That number goes up to 67% of second marriages. The statistics get even worse with each additional marriage. There is also the old anecdote that there are two things that will break up a first marriage and those are money and sex. The saying goes on to say that there are three things that will break up a second marriage and those are money, sex and my kids vs. your kids. Often times when we are married, we think that a new relationship would be better. Then, we become obsessed with the thought which leads us to be open to the idea. Then, we allow ourselves to be in positions that allow flirtations to go beyond the norm. Then, we begin to idealize that potential relationship in how it could be better than our current relationship. It’s always better in our minds. The object of our desire will always react in ways that are pleasing to us in our minds. We set them up as the perfect mate. Meanwhile, every little thing our current spouse does becomes an irritation. Little things that used to not bother us become major issues. We shut ourselves off to the possibility that our marriage can be saved and become obsessed with the ideal mate that we have made this other person to be. Then, the line is crossed. An affair is begun. There are no affairs that are sustainable. They all end with someone getting hurt. Everyone is affected by the disease of lust. Families are torn apart and often it takes years for all to recover from the trauma of a divorce caused by lust. Our nation is a wasteland of divorce that seems almost second nature now and Christ followers are no different from the rest of the nation in this regard. Alimony, child support, angry children, spoiled children, children who do not get the financial support they need, children caught in the middle of their parents’ anger at one another. We have so made this state of affairs normal that the very fabric of our society has been altered by the prevalence of divorce. It is normal for there not to be a dad living in the home with his children. It is normal for there to be multiple marriages in a person’s lifetime.

 

I am not some guy who is complaining about the world without having experienced it. I have lived the life. Sure, anyone who knows my situation would say now after all these years that my first divorce was justified but it was a divorce nonetheless that caused severe pain and heartache on all sides. After suffering though the life I had with my first wife, I was open to the idea of a new relationship and it began during my first marriage. I idealized the perfection, or it seemed so to me, of my lover (who eventually became my second wife). All the stuff that I put up with from my first wife made me a matyr and made it OK in my mind to lust after my second wife. There is an old saying is that “that greener grass on the other side of the fence is greener because it is growing over a septic tank!” That was my life. I just traded problems instead of solving them. Although my second wife and I had our great moments that were amazing but they were equally offset by the horrors of second marriage life – my kids vs. your kids and combine that with a volatile ex-wife. The lows of that marriage were the lowest. The arguments caused only by the fact that our relationship was not well thought out. Five kids from previous marriages. No training or understanding of how to handle someone else’s children. No understanding of what it meant to have to take child support right off the top of everything we made. No understanding of how to deal with an ex-spouse. It was a marriage destined for failure from the beginning. It was a marriage built on lust and not much else. We let sexual desire blind us to what we were getting into. Sexual desire can dominate your life and blind you to what’s real and what’s not. It can blind you to the reality of the world. It can become your god. That has never been more true than in my life.

 

That past of mine where obsessions with other things than God can seem like this perfect thing but yet when you bite into it, it becomes a bitter pill in your stomach is what I thought of when reading today’s passage, Numbers 11:31-35:

 

31 Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits[a] deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. 32 All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers.[b] Then they spread them out all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. 34 Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah,[c] because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

 

35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.

 

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it! Craving or lusting is more than just inappropriate sexual desire. It can be an unnatural or greedy desire for anything that becomes an obsession. It could be, yes, extramarital sexual relations, but it could be desire for money, power, knowledge, etc. It can even be an obsession with the Carolina Gamecocks or the Clemson Tigers. Anything that sits on the throne of our heart instead of God can be a lust. In this circumstance, God punished the Israelites for allowing their desire turn into greed. The desire was not wrong but when it became greed  it became a sin. They felt it was their right to have fine food and they could think of nothing else. When we become preoccupied with something until it affects your perspective on everything else, you have moved from desire to lust.

 

That is the takeaway today for us. Let us not let our fleshly desires blind us to the Word of God and what it tells that is right and what is wrong. When we have to ignore God’s Word and justify why we are ignoring His Word and spend a great deal of time discounting the value of God’s Word, yeah, it’s probably immoral and wrong. When we dive into our lusts, it is not because God is just mean that He tells us not to do things, it is because He knows that our lusts unrestrained will destroy us personally and us as a society. Our lusts can destroy us, ruin us, and keep us from being in a right relationship with Him. He is a good, good Father who wants to keep us from harm. However, in our lustful desires to have what we want and when we want it, we must ignore God’s Word and we must ignore God’s provision for our lives. The boundaries are there for our own good and not to keep us from doing things. He knows the destruction that the lusts of our heart can bring when we make them more important than him. Be careful for what you wish for…the consequences of getting it can be something you didn’t count on.

 

Amen and Amen.

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