Looking back feeds the desires of the flesh
A Longing for supplies
As we go further into the story of the children of Israel in the wilderness we can see how much their heart was rooted in the bondage of Egypt. It is amazing to me how much food plays a huge part of any culture. In New York, one of the highlights of the city is the many restaurants and the diversity of culinary cuisines. Food can comfort us on a cold night, it is the highlight of every party and what has always puzzled me is the idea of going to the theater to see your favorite movie yet that experience is never complete without something to munch on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that food seems to infiltrate most aspects of our lives and Jesus was very aware of the tendency to lean on food as a substitute for God. In one of the recorded temptations of Jesus in his wilderness experience, the devil challenged him to turn stone into bread and Jesus response was, “It is written: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
I know you might be wondering what food has to do with looking back. Well, let us take a look at what happened to the children of Israel. After they left Egypt they crossed the red sea and started their journey in the wilderness, God was with them through it all. God was their shade and cool in the day time in the form of a cloud and He was their warmth and protector by night in a pillar of fire. God moved with them and He became their source, but their flesh was so attached to Egypt for the supplies they had in abundance that they could not see the many provisions in the present by the very hand of God. This looking back mentality caused them to grumble and complain rather than be thankful. It is a dangerous thing to live in the past, longing for what was and making light of what is. Many good relationships come to an end when a partner cannot let go of the past. While this reference is about the food there is other material stuff and connivances we can keep looking back for.
Perhaps you were in an abusive relationship but your partner would over compensate in material supplies in order to keep you in bondage and now that you are out of the abuse your heart still longs for the stuff. Perhaps you find yourself complaining about the provisions you have now even though the situation is a far safer one for you. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord as He leads you through the process of detoxing your soul of the past. The bible tells us that the past was so deeply rooted in the Israelites that they lusted for the supplies of Egypt. (Numbers 11:4 – 6 Amplified). I believe God wants to set you free from the bondage of the past. Won’t you take his help today?
Holy Spirit, help me to let go of the lust of fleshly things in my past and help me to have an attitude of gratitude for all that you provide me daily.
And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 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.
Exodus 16:2-3 KJV
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?
Exodus 17:3 KJV
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.
Numbers 11:4-6 KJV
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4 KJV