Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daniel Fast Day Four

"The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.” (Exodus 16:1-8)

It's a pretty bold statement that the Israelites make..."We were better off as slaves back in Egypt." God miraculously brings 10 plagues against Egypt...rescues the people who'd cried out to be the Red Sea to save them, then swallows up their enemy by closing the sea at just the right time...That's what God has done in recent days, weeks and months...and Israel's short term memory has fizzled. Their appetite is bigger than their heart for God. They'd rather choose bondage and oppression than to stick with the God who has proven trustworthy over and over again.

And 3500 years later, we're not a whole lot different. The minute a trial or hardship comes our way, many of us start to question whether God is good, whether God is faithful, whether it might have been better for us to choose a life of bondage and sin rather than the freedom we have in Christ.

Even in this 21 day fast, we are tempted day after day to go back to Egypt, rather than stay on the path we're heading. I had a dream last night that I snuck 3 pieces of greasy, artery clogging, stuffed crust pizza. Every time I go to the fridge and have the singular option of H2O, I think about Egypt.

But God IS good. And God IS faithful. He provided manna (in the Hebrew, literally "What is it?") in the wilderness. It was exactly what they needed to be sustained.

So let's practice the Manna Principle today...GOD WILL GIVE ME EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO LIVE TODAY.


Marilyn said...

Day 4 for me is going along smoothly. I really enjoy eating the foods that I am eating for breakfast and packing in my lunches. Fresh fruits and nuts/peanut butter is what my girls and I eat on a regular basis, so it is all very basic for us. I do have to admit that only having water to quench my thirst is exhausting, especially when a hot cup of decaf coffee with my sugar and creamer is the best way to start my day and a glass of water seems to leave me wanting .... something.... no withdrawals, just kind of wanting something more out of my morning water. I also love my orange juice and cranberry juices, but when I eat an orange/grapefruit salad for my morning snack, I find that I am appreciating everything about that orange and that grapefruit. There is more to it now .... there is a quenching feeling, a texture quality, a sweetness and an overall feeling of satisfaction from what I packed for myself and what God gave offered to me.

I won't deny the chocolate desire is still with me. It is amazing how I can spot a candy bar on someone's desk or pick out my favorite one on the 2nd row of the vending machine (I won't go near my boss' office where the candy drawer is). I have even thought about having one m&m...but then I realize that it is only the 4th day....I am stronger than a piece of candy .... so I look in my bag and pull out some cut up pineapple and know that it just gave me more satisfaction again than any m&m could possibly give me (well, at least for right now!).

We can all learn to appreciate the goodness that God has put on this earth to eat that is natural and healthy for us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the words!! I know now that I do have the will power and I know that it comes from God! All of you are in my prayers!

Ben said...

2 medium-sized green peppers, chopped

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped

1 zucchini, sliced

1 yellow squash, sliced

2 tablespoons salad oil

2 tablespoons chili powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground red peppers

2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

2 16 oz. cans tomatoes (juice and all)

2 16 oz. cans pinto beans (juice and all)

2 16 oz. cans black beans (juice and all)

1 4 oz. can mild green chilies

1 4 oz. can of tomato paste

Chop and sauté in oil the peppers and onions. Add the sliced squashes, chili powder, salt, ground red peppers, and corn. When all the vegetables are soft but still firm, add the tomatoes, all the beans, the green chilies, and the tomato paste. Stir until just blended.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Yield: 6 generous servings