Cravings are rooted in something from our past. If we never had it in the first place, we would not miss it when it was taken away. We see an example of this in Numbers 11. Note how verse 4 starts with, “Now the mixed multitude…” 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” The children of Israel brought some of the Egyptians with them. When the complaining began, it spread its contamination to everyone around the disgruntled ones.
Verse 4 goes on to say, “…yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: Who will give us any meat to eat?” Watch how they looked back. Verse 5 says, “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.” That list reveals that they were dialoguing about what they didn’t have. It made them discontent with God’s miraculous provision. They totally forgot that they were enslaved, and that they were treated harshly. Verse 6 says, “But our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
The Lord was angry. Moses took up the offense of the people and lashed out at the Lord. The Lord answered the cravings of the people. Yet there was a severe price to pay. The Lord sent quail. Verse 33 says, “But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.” Verse 34 says, “…they buried the people who had yielded to craving.”
Here is a very serious verse that makes me tremble. Psalm 106:15 says, “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” The contrast is in Jeremiah 31:14. It says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” There is nothing on this earth that is worth living in spiritual leanness for.
Cravings are a distraction in our progressive sanctification. The Lord has us on a journey to learn how to lean on Him and not our own understanding. He is teaching us how to conform our thoughts, purpose, and actions to His will through our trials. We are also learning how persistent our fleshly lust can be. When we deprive our flesh, it rears up from its hiding place to scream out its displeasure.
The danger with cravings is they make us dissatisfied with what we have. The children of Israel had God’s wonderful provision of manna. It was His miraculous sustenance for them. It had all the nutrients needed to keep them healthy, because He provided it for 40 years!
There are times in our lives when we believe that the Lord’s manna-provision for us is not enough. This can be especially true in hard trials. We are tempted to complain, which is sin because it displeases the Lord. There are times that we might lose sight of His goal for us. Romans 8:28 says that He is working everything in our lives for our good. The trial we are in will yield a benefit that we lacked if we endure.
Hebrews 10:36 says, “For you have need of endurance…” The Greek word for endurance is humpomone. I love this word. Here is the note in my Bible from the Strong’s definition that I frequently visit. It says, “Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance.
It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.” As you can imagine, when we look back, we lose sight of our goal. We are viciously thrown off track. Let us keep our eyes on the Lord, and be continually grateful for His provision for us through His death, burial, and resurrection.