When the going got tough on the march out of Mt. Sinai this ‘rabble’ (Numbers 11:4 NIV) began a campaign for a better diet. Their mumbles and grumbles were taken up by many in the redeemed Nation. The tasty and healthy Manna was demeaned and as such the people offended their Lord, Saviour and Provider. What was their alternative? Cucumbers and leeks, melons, onions and garlic as a side dish to fish. Over fifteen months had passed since marching out of Egypt but their taste buds hadn’t been converted. When they experienced some difficulties and were dissatisfied with manna their taste buds salivated for cucumbers
Taste buds are simply an expression of their heart. Forgotten, the harsh living conditions of slavery. Forgotten, Pharaoh’s edict to kill all the male babies. Forgotten the signs and wonders God did on their behalf. There wasn’t anything wrong with cucumbers and garlic and the other fruit and vegetables. It was their taste buds, symbols of unconverted desires, memory loss and spiritual immaturity which swamped their hunger for God.
Cucumbers and I don’t agree so I’d never hanker for them. Unfortunately, what they represent has sometimes infected my spiritual taste buds. The result, a loss of appetite for the manna of God. In that realm of being spiritually malnourished but feeding on a carnal diet how easy the voice of the ‘rabble’ is heard. Unless treated it is toxic to faith and fatal to testimony. Mercifully, God the Chef of Heaven won’t let me, or you, stay away from His restaurant, cafeteria, barbeque or bistro too long. He goes outhunting for you, for me. He wants to bring you to where His ‘bread, meat, milk and wine’ and other Heavenly food are served.
We live in the realm of the ‘rabble!’ We are to minister to them yet at the same time beware of their influence. 1 Corinthians 15:33 puts it well, ‘Don’t be misled. “Bad company corrupts good character.”’ May I change that to ‘bad company corrupts one’s spiritual and moral taste buds?’ That is why we are encouraged to continue to meet together for worship, teaching, support and discovering God’s new diet delights for the spirit. Whenever the World, the Flesh or the Devil tempt and we ‘taste’ their ‘sweet poison’ spit it out quickly. Let the Holy Spirit give you a ‘mouth and soul wash’ through His Word and begin sipping the nectar of forgiveness. Then you will once again have that taste sensation of knowing the banquet of God’s grace. Rising up from that ‘table’ you and I will be able to say “amen!” to the words of Jesus in John 4:34. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.”