Shifting our Perspective to God
Next year, will you look back on 2021 as the year the pandemic struck again, or, as a year where the Lord provided for His children? The way a situation is perceived in the present is also going to be the way it is remembered.
In Numbers 11, the Israelites were remembering a sliver of their past that they enjoyed because they were viewing their present situation in the wrong perspective. In Numbers 11, the nation of Israel was traveling successfully through the desert wilderness because of the Lord’s provisions. He made sure the Israelites had sufficient food and water (Exodus 15:22-17:7). He even made sure they had the leadership and guidance of Moses, to be safely led through the harsh desert landscapes. Yet instead of focusing on their present provisions from God, the Israelites chose to only focus on the hardships of the desert. Thus, they grew discontent and desired embrace a past memory by saying, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” The manna that once tasted sufficiently sweet, grew bitter with disgust the more they compared it to the “good old days of fish”.
Some of the Israelites’ perception of the past would have become warped, because their desire to remember the good would have been be stronger than the desire to remember the bad. Hence, the good old days would be remembered as the days of fish instead of slavery. When temporary enjoyments of a given day become the reason to endure suffering, a sinful habit becomes ingrained. Enduring suffering begins to be equated with temporary enjoyment instead of turning to the everlasting God. Also, if a person is strongly focused on the good or bad of a situation, they are going to have a selective memory for their focus. Either way the emphasis is going to be placed on the temporary instead of the everlasting God.
Regardless of whether it is in the past, present, or future, a child of God’s perspective should not be focused on the temporary. The Lord’s wrath rises against those who put the temporary before Him. Numbers 11:34 states, “Therefore the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving.” Thus, we should respectfully fear the Lord and be building habits that help us set our minds toward God and His provisions. Food, money, and possessions will not ultimately help us conquer the trials we face. They may distract us, for a short or long moment, but only the power of the one who conquered death can truly vanquish any hindrance.