The Price of Fish
“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”” Numbers 11:4-6 NIV
““Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”” John 2:4 NIV
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 NIV
Why do we glamorize the same past that we prayed to get out of? I was thinking about this as I was getting ready for church this morning. The Israelites really said “we ate fish in Egypt at no cost.” Ummm… are we reading the same story? Pharaoh had them in bondage. I’m pretty sure that’s a hefty cost! How is it they have already forgotten their prayers in Egypt? How is it that we forgot ours?
At first glance, these verses seem totally unrelated. As I was studying, though, I realized how much they have in common. From Numbers to Phillipians, these verses are proof that our cravings can make us forget our pain, and we make decisions that oppose God’s plans.
Let’s discuss it.
For starters, can the person who created the “by now” list please approach the stand? Seriously, I have questions that need answers! I can’t ever remember being taught what life milestones should be reached when. In yet, for some strange reason, I have heard plenty of “by nows.” I’m 40, I should own my own home by now. I’m 25, I should be married by now. I’m 31, I should have a kid by now. Who makes this stuff up? Can we have a word?
Our foundational scriptures give us 3 important points to reflect on for day 12:
- God does not provide for your appetite
- There is an appointed time for everything
- We must learn to be content
Let’s address them each…
God does not provide for your appetite. The text says that the Israelites began to crave other food, and lost their appetites because all they had was manna. The whole purpose of the wilderness was to cleanse them of Egypt. How often do we reject the cleansing process? We want the blessings of the promised land, but the food of Egypt. We have to pick one. I mean, I love good food, but I’m not willing to be a slave for it! What are you craving from your Egypt? God is providing you with manna. Sure, it might be something you’ve never eaten, but you prayed to get here. Are you going to change your palette or keep craving your bondage? The choice is yours.
There is an appointed time for everything. Yes, for everything! This passage in John was Jesus’ first miracle—changing the water into wine at the wedding of Cana. He told His mother, “my hour has not come.” Read that again. His hour! God has an appointed time for everything He’s promised you. Don’t make decisions out of your “by nows.” Verse 4 wasn’t His hour, but in verse 8 there was wine. Don’t allow your choices in 5, 6, and 7, to hinder your 8. Wait on God. He knows when your hour has come. And guess what else? The master of the banquet thought that was the best wine of all! Why is that? Because God made it. I don’t know who this is for, but what God has for you in your verse 8 is better than anything you could do for yourself outside of His time. Trust Him.
We must learn to be content. Run in your own lane. Paul said he learned the secret to being content in every situation. You know what I believe that secret is? Gratefulness. It’s knowing you aren’t where you want to be, but thanking God you aren’t where you use to be! Contentment allows us to be present today. We spend so much time hoping for tomorrow and reminiscing on yesterday, that we don’t enjoy today. I’ll share my secret weapon with y’all—Deuteronomy 33:25. It says, “as thy days are, so shall thy strength be” (KJV). That means God gives us enough strength for the present day and new strength each day. We don’t need to focus on tomorrow, it’s taken care of. Just focus on walking with Him today!
So the fish in Egypt did, in fact, have a cost. Do you remember what you paid?