Graves of Craving

Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers-about 60 bushels); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of the place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving. ~Numbers 11:31-34

Kibroth Hattaavah translates “Graves of Craving”

‘And the people stayed up all day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.’ God was not angry at the Israelites for gathering food to eat. In Exodus, He sent manna and quail for them to gather and eat. They knew if they kept any manna overnight that it would rot and become maggot-ridden. From their previous experience with the LORD, the Israelites knew He would provide. It was the manner in which they gathered; all day, all night, and all the next day they gathered food. More than enough, craving the food in a greedy manner. The Israelites had yielded (surrendered, succumbed) to craving (longing, desire, passion, lust).

Earlier in the chapter (V. 4-6) the people complained. ‘Now the mixed multitudes who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” The mixed multitudes were not Israelites.  Some were Egyptians who chose to follow the LORD while others may have been slaves from other nations. In their intense craving, they influenced God’s chosen people to weep and complain. God answered by sending the quail. This is where the intense craving led to greed, greed to hoarding, and hoarding to death…Graves of Craving.

Craving, desire, yearning for that thing, whatever it may be, turns our attention from God. They do not have to be in the form of food; desires can be for recognition, power, another person, material possessions, drugs, alcohol, or sexual gratification, even comfort. It is when we allow these desires to intensify, to consume our daily thoughts, our walk, that we shift into the turning away.  A slight turn, God is in the peripheral and our focus is the desire. A desire drawing away your love from God to that object or action, the grave opens, ready to devour you.

  • In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of His wonders, they did not believe.  ~Ps.78:32 NIV
  • “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:25, 26
  • For godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with theses we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction. ~1 Timothy 6:6-9
  • Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~Hebrews 13:5
  • Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. ~Romans 1:24, 25
  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  ~1 John 2:15-17

At what point do we say, “I have gathered enough?” When we have gone beyond the point of enough and venture into the greed of more…“Graves of Craving”: the unhealthy cravings in life? What are yours?

Cravings so destructive they could hurt (whether physically, emotionally or spiritually) you or another.

Why are the things of this world are so easily distracting?

All-Sufficent God, thank You for Your provision, I am blessed because You are my God, my Jehovah-Jireh. LORD God, may the desire of my heart be for a greater and more intimate relationship with You. Help me to overcome the cravings this world that lead me away from You and into the grave. Do not allow me to be given up to the uncleanness, to the lusts of my heart, therefore, dishonoring You. Let my love for You grow stronger as the love for this world and the things of it fade, In Jesus mighty name. Amen


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