67. Ask God's advice first

The Israelites followed the Lord when the cloud lifted from the Ark and settled again when the cloud of God stopped. But this proved to be tiresome. They had to break and set up camp a number of times and soon enough they didn't want to follow the Lord anymore. They started doing what they do best, complaining. They complained about their hardship to one another.

God didn't take their complaining lightly and His anger blazed against them. Fire from the Lord raged among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp. The people came screaming for help to Moses and when he prayed the fire stopped.

Now interestingly enough only a verse later (Numbers 11:4) they started complaining again, this time about the manna that they have to eat, they were sick and tired of it! They wanted meat! Now Moses was also getting aggravated and he said to the Lord:

"Why are You treating me, Your servant, so miserably? What did I do to deserve the burden of a people like this? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep complaining and saying, 'Give us meat!' I can't carry all these people by myself! This load is too heavy! I'd rather You killed me than treat me like this. Please spare me this misery!" Numbers 11:11 - 15

It was very interesting for me to note, that God killed some of the Israelites when they complained, but He helped Moses when he complained. He helped Moses by selecting seventy other leaders and also putting His Spirit on them to help Moses with his burden. Now why did He help Moses, but He killed the Israelites who moaned?

It is because the Israelites moaned amongst one another and didn't take the problem to God and discussed it with Him. They could have approached Moses and said that they were really tired and that they needed a rest and some water or whatever, and Moses could have presented the problem to God on their behalf. But they didn't, they murmured and complained amongst one another and bemoaned their lot. Moses on the other hand presented his problem to God and asked God to relieve him of his burden. And that is why God helped him but didn't adhere to the moaning of the Israelites.

We too tend to discuss all our problems with our friends and family and we tend to bemoan our lot especially if we feel that we have been unfairly treated. But that is not the right order. Of course we can discuss it with people close to us and receive advice from them, especially if they are God fearing as you are, but we need to go to God first. He should be the first One that we discuss our problems with. He should be our pillar of strength and no one else. He has after all the best advice, as He is the only One who has the bigger picture in mind. I am sure the Israelites would not have moaned as much if they could have seen the beautiful Promised Land that they are about to conquer and how wonderfully the Lord will look after them there. With such a prospect in mind, the little hardship they had to endure now would seem trivial.

And the same is true for us. God has the bigger picture in mind and is in the top position to give you the best advice and even more than that He can also help you if you'll let Him. Remember that next time you encounter a problem and run to God first.

Father, please forgive us that we tend to discuss all our problems with those closest to us and not with You. We want Your advice instead, as we know that it would be the best advice. Help us to rather focus on You and Your plans for us. Thank you Jesus. Amen

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