March 2

Numbers 11:4-6 (NIV) 4The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! 5We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost–also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"

They started wailing again. It's easy to join a pity party. The rabble and troublemakers are always among us. They point people toward the temporal and not to Jesus, the eternal. They point to the things that you do not currently possess and not to the blessings at hand. They crave the things of the world and not the things of God.

Did the manna cost? Here they are with miraculous provision and they are whining for something more exotic. It would be hard to have the same meal day after day, and a miracle loses its awe to us when we see it daily. How we remember the good but not the bad! Their babies were fed to the crocs and their backs to the whips, but they want to go back for a nice dinner.

The real problem is that they are not hungry for God. Jesus said that He is the manna that comes down from heaven. They are tired of focusing on one thing. They'd like a little worldly diversion. It shows they had not grown spiritually, and though they were out of Egypt, Egypt was not out of them. Watch out for the allurement of the world. It promises its delicacies but neglects to tell you of the price you will pay for them or how temporal their satisfaction is. The Promised Land has plenty to satisfy, but you must be prepared by learning to put first things first. Which will it be for you, forward, or backward?

Prayer: Lord, keep my heart satisfied with You, the true bread from heaven.

March 2

Matthew 14:16-18 (NIV) 16Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." 17"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. 18"Bring them here to me," he said.

Jesus and the disciples tried to escape the crowds to get some rest, but the crowds found them. Jesus healed all the sick that were brought to Him. He was concerned about their need to eat. Jesus is concerned about our daily necessities.

First He challenged His disciples to feed them. He was pointing out man's inability. In the Gospel of John, Philip calculated what it would cost eight months wages to feed the crowd. There were 5000 men plus women and children. A little boy brought five loaves and two fish to the disciples. They expressed to Jesus how short their supply was. Then Jesus tells us how to deal with our inadequacy. "Bring them here to me," He said. What little we place in Jesus' hands can be multiplied by His divine power. It is good for us to recognize how inadequate we are and how all sufficient He is.

Not only did everyone have enough to eat, but there were 12 baskets full left over. There is an Old Testament precedent for this miracle in 2 Kings 4:42-44. This crowd was Jewish. There were originally twelve Jewish tribes. The 12 baskets could represent supply for all of Israel. The next time that Jesus performs this miracle there will be 4000 Gentiles with 7 baskets full left over. Some scholars believe that those 7 baskets represent the seven Gentile nations, or we could see it as the number of perfection, meeting the needs of the entire world (Mark 8:19-21). Jew or Gentile, Jesus is more than enough for all our needs.

Remember: Just bring what He has given you, and place it in His hands. He will multiply it to meet the need.