Numbers 11:4 English Standard Version (ESV) Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!

This is a warning about strong cravings.

Hebrews 5:14 English Standard Version (ESV) But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

This is a warning about digestion.

As we grow in Christ our spiritual diet of the Word of God goes from milk, to greens, to strong meats. We may even crave strong meat as it is more satisfying but have we discernment gained through much practice to distinguish what is to be digested?

Eating is an apt analogy. Do not bite off too much strong meat at one time. Chew it thoroughly for good digestion. Do not over indulge.

Spiritual consumption of God’s Word is good for the soul if done properly. Eat appropriately. Vary your diet, we need a balanced diet. Do not devalue the foods of our youth just because we see ourselves as grown. Some milk as an adult is good for us.

The rabble called out in Numbers 11:4 is ‘ăsap̄sup̄ and is defined as a mixed multitude. Not all that were freed of Pharaoh’s grip were Israelites. The customs and beliefs of those people remained even though they escaped by the same means. Their grumblings infected some of the Israelites.

Strong cravings indicate a lack of appreciation for the Lord’s provisions.

Now comes the hard part. What diet are you being fed? Is it well rounded or selected to cause you to have strong cravings? Are you hearing an agenda masked by scripture that hammers on one topic, hitting it from every side?

We need to discern good from evil by the power of the Holy Spirit and not be swayed by human emotions.

Rear Guard

Deuteronomy 25:17-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget.

During our later days for tour of duty in Vietnam we would get replacements. They were not seasoned or conditioned to the terrain. One failed ambush led us to force march in the dark through a wet and muddy rice paddy. I was assigned rear guard. One newbie struggled in the mud, hip deep, crying and afraid. It was my responsibility to make sure no one was left behind. I was there to help and encourage him in his moment of greatest fear.

In this opening verse we might blame the faithless for not keeping up. Who had been set to help and encourage them as the enemy came to attack them?

The truth is the same now as back then. The enemy has no fear of God and will seek to devour whom he may. It is on us to help and encourage the faint of heart. We are the seasoned veterans. We have seen much during our journey and our experiences should not be forgotten. We have all struggled. How do I know that? I too have struggled and been helped when I was weak and beggarly.

Like my newbie who struggled, we will not recognize the signs by turning our back on them. We have to keep them in front of us. Be the rear guard.