Graves of the Craving

Numbers 11:4-35


As the people of Israel traveled toward Canaan, they started complaining about the food. They said, “All we have to eat is this manna. We miss the meat and the fish and the vegetables we had in Egypt.” The grumbling spread from family to family, until Moses could hear it from every tent.

In frustration he prayed, “Lord, what have I done to deserve this heartache? Why have you done this to me? I didn’t give birth to these people, so why do I have to nurse them? I can’t take it any more! If this is what you want for me, then kill me right now.”

The Lord said to Moses, “Choose seventy leaders from the people and bring them to me. I will take some of the Spirit that is on you, and put it on them. They’ll help you bear the burden of the people.”

He also said, “Tell the people to prepare themselves. Tomorrow they’ll have meat to eat. They keep craving, longing for Egypt, so they’ll eat meat until they’re totally sick of it.”

Moses went and told the people this, and then he called the seventy leaders to come before the Lord. When they arrived, only 68 men were there. Two of them were still back in the camp.

The Lord took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and put it on the seventy men—all of them. Immediately, the men started prophesying, even the two who were still in the camp.

Joshua said to Moses, “Tell those two men to stop!” Moses said, “Oh, Joshua, don’t be jealous for me. I wish that God’s Spirit would fall on all his people.” The next day, the Lord sent a wind that blew quail in from the sea. They dropped down to about three feet off the ground, and covered an area in all directions as far as a man could walk in a day. People went out and caught them. They worked all day and into the night. The person who gathered the smallest amount of quail, still gathered thirty-three bushels full. Every family was able to get a large amount of meat for their family.

Still, God was angry with them because they longed for Egypt and wouldn’t trust his care for them.

So, as the people were eating the meat— while it was still between their teeth—God struck them with a plague. Many died at that place and were buried there. So the people called it, “Graves of the Craving.”

 
 
 
 
 

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