Psalm 78:29–31 (ESV)
29 And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved. 30 But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths, 31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed the strongest of them and laid low the young men of Israel.
I have been dieting for about two months now and have lost a little more than 15 pounds, and I have to say…cravings are VERY REAL!
Maybe some cravings for a Big Mac, or a Snickers bar aren’t all that serious, but the Psalmist here describes a set of cravings that were dominating the lives of his people that he had delivered from bondage and slavery in Egypt. This writer of the Psalm is rehearsing an even originally recorded earlier in the Old Testament:
Numbers 11:18–20 (ESV)
18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?” ’ ”
Cravings that come from our carnal and fleshly nature undermine what God wants to do in our lives. We, like these Israelites, may have been set free by Christ from bondages of the past, only to find ourselves re-enslaved by giving in to our unhealthy cravings. I titled this devotion; ‘Crave – Slave – Grave’, because that is the unavoidable progression when we live for our own lusts (whether they be money, sex, power, anger, recognition, etc). It starts with a craving which originates in our sinful nature, it brings us into slavery to sin, and sin when it is full grown brings death (spiritual first and even possibly physical). The Bible has a great one sentence solution to all of this:
Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.