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  • Writer's pictureThe Bald Believer

Warnings About Our Wantings

A Devotional Study of Psalm 106:15-20

The only good thing about bad examples are the lessons learned on what not to do. Looking back upon the history of Israel in the wilderness the Psalmist reminds his readers of these illustrations.

Psalm 106:15-20 provides us some warnings about our wantings.

Psalm 106:15 And he gave them their request; But sent leanness into their soul.

I believe this portion from psalm begins by reminding us of a passage in Numbers.

Numbers 11:4–6
4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

God had rescued the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery and was providing bread from Heaven for their desert march into the promised land. Some began to complain about the miraculous menu and long for the cuisine of Egypt.

Their description makes me believe that you better not kiss an Egyptian unless they have a few certs first. Wow, can you imagine the breath from these folks with all the fish, leeks, onions and garlic?

Isn’t it funny how the discontent mind mis-remembers? They reminisced about their past meals in Egypt saying that they did eat “freely” but there was nothing “free” about that food. They somehow forgot that they had been slaves! They bought their meals by bearing enormous burdens upon their backs as well as many a stripe from the whips of cruel masters.

No garlicky fish sandwich could be worth one’s freedom, no matter how tasty!

They complained and begged for meat and God in grace gave it, he sent fowl to fill their bellies but emptiness into their soul.

Psalm 106:15 And he gave them their request; But sent leanness into their soul.

We would all do well to learn from this lesson and consider the toll filling our hands will have upon our hearts.

Isn’t this the lesson we learn from Proverbs?

Proverbs 15:16–17
16  Better is little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and trouble therewith.
17  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is,
Than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

It is better to have a little bread from Heaven than a buffet that includes a heap of heartache! Oh, how we must be aware of the danger of discontentment! Let’s surrender our wants to the one who knows what will really fill us with joy!

Psalm 106:16-18
16  They envied Moses also in the camp, And Aaron the saint of the Lord.
17  The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, And covered the company of Abiram.
18  And a fire was kindled in their company;The flame burned up the wicked.

The Psalmist then reminds us of the story of the rebellion of Korah from Numbers 16. Their attempt at usurping the authority of Moses and Aaron was a rebellion against God, some were swallowed into the earth. Korah and his cohorts desired promotion but rather received a serious demotion. It is so important to surrender our will and our wants to God!

Psalm 106:19–20 19They made a calf in Horeb, And worshipped the molten image. 20Thus they changed their glory Into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

They wanted a God they could see so they urged Aaron to take their gold and make a molten calf. Can you comprehend just a little of how insulting this was to the Creator of the universe? I have nothing against cows but come on, what a bad comparison! In setting up this idol they “changed their glory”. If the God than made them were a mere calf, then how much less of a creature is his creation? In diminishing the Divine we diminish ourselves! If we make material things our god then we insult ourselves!

So, we find here some warnings about our wantings.

Be careful what you crave!

Let God guide the desires of your heart because insisting on a path opposed to his may fill your belly and your bank account, but it will certainly empty your soul.

Putting yourself on a pedestal will only give you a greater fall and making anything other than the Lord your god is an insult to yourself!


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