By bro Alvin Lin
God provided the Israelites water but it was never enough for them.
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. (Exo 16:3)
The Israelites had only been away from Egypt for a month (Exo 12:6,12), and already they were reminiscing about the sensual delights but forgetting their miseries (Exo 3:7-9). Forgetfulness is a powerful deterrent to contentment because we become selective in focusing on present difficulties, thereby overlooking God’s blessings in the past. God commanded an omer of the manna to be laid up (Exo 16:32-34), eventually in the ark of the covenant (Heb 9:4), to remind the Israelites of His providence. Likewise, God has given us His Word to put us “always in remembrance of these things” (2Pe 1:12), knowing that He is always with us (Heb 13:5).
(4) Taking God for granted
God took care of the Israelites but it was never enough for them.
Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? (Exo 17:2-3)
God had been with the Israelites all along and taken care of all their needs (Exo 13:21-22), and they were so used to His presence that they had taken Him for granted and tempted Him by questioning, “Is the LORD among us, or not?” (Exo 17:7) Taking God for granted is a powerful deterrent to contentment because we think that we deserve God’s blessings and become self-entitled. God was angry with the faithless Israelites and swore that “they shall not enter into my rest” (Heb 3:11). Likewise, those who have tasted the “heavenly gift” and the “good word of God” but take them for granted will have to suffer God’s wrath, “seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:4-6).
God provided manna for the Israelites but it was never enough for them.
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? 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: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. (Num 11:4-6)
God provided the Israelites manna for 40 years until they reached Canaan (Exo 16:35), and they were fed so well that they got sick of manna and lusted for meat instead (Psa 78:18-20). Lust is a powerful deterrent to contentment because we want more and better things even when we have our necessities taken care of. God sent quail to satisfy their intense cravings but they paid for it dearly with their lives (Num 11:31-34). Likewise, the lust for money and material possessions will “drown men in destruction and perdition”, causing them to be pierced “through with many sorrows” (1Ti 6:9-10).