Disobedience Angers God (Daily Portion 10308)
The history of Israel demonstrates that they were often a people of doubt and rebellion against God. But that is also the history of all of God’s people. This passage shows how disbelief and disobedience makes God angry and leads to judgment. Yet, the Lord is always merciful when His people return to Him.
What Does It Say?
- The Israelites asked if God could give them bread and flesh, but when God heard this, He was __________.
- They doubted the God who had commanded the clouds from above and had opened the _________ of heaven.
- To show His power, the Lord rained flesh upon them as _________.
- In judgment, God consumed their days in __________, and their years in ___________.
- After they were judged, God’s people returned to Him and remembered that God was their __________.
What Does It Mean?
- When the Israelites questioned God, He was angry with them because “they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation” (v.22). Even after His wrath came upon them, “they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works” (v.32). It seems as though God became angrier because of their lack of belief than He did because of their words or actions. Why do you think this is so? How does this match the way Christ dealt with His disciples? See Matthew 6:30; Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31; Matthew 16:8; Matthew 17:17.
- In verses 24 and 25, the manna that God sent down to the Israelites is called “the corn of heaven” (compare Joshua 5:12) and “angels’ food.” Why do you think it is given these titles? What do you think manna was like? Consider Exodus 16:14-15, Exodus 16:31; Numbers 11:6-8.
- The Israelites complained because they wanted flesh to eat (v.20). They even questioned God’s ability to provide it (v.20). God brought an east wind and brought them quail like the sand of the sea (v.26-27). They ate their full as God “gave them their own desire” (v.29). But, while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them and slew them (v.30-31). Now, why did God give them their desire only to judge them for their sin? Why not just judge them? Can you think of any other examples where God has done this? Or perhaps, you can think of a similar situation that you have seen.
What Does It Mean to Me?
- In verse 20, the people acknowledged that God could provide water from the rock, but they questioned whether or not He could provide bread or flesh in the wilderness. How do we do this today? What do you trust God for? What do you have trouble trusting Him for? How can you correct what is lacking in your faith?
- Verses 34-35 state, “When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.” The judgment of God brought them back to God, at least for a time. Why does it so often work this way with men? How could we avoid this judgment? How should we respond when judgment comes? Try to answer these questions in detail.