As Seen on Sunday: The Maggots of our Greed
We provide a recap of the Sunday sermon to encourage you in the faith each week but it's not the same thing as being here.
I was suppose to speak on how Jesus was not enough for us, but I took a slightly different direction. I mention Jesus' connection to manna in John 6 and His relationship to provision in Philippians 4:19-20. I do not go thoroughly into Jesus as the one who is not good enough for us, but I believe He is included since He is God. Jesus is literally the ultimate provision by God and if we reject bread, I think that it is safe to say that we have rejected Jesus. Please keep this in mind as you join with me for today's As Seen On Sunday: The Maggots of our Greed.
The first story in the Bible that I thought of when considering Jesus not being enough was Adam And Eve but something told me that I should look elsewhere for today’s text (that and Josh just wrote a blog on it). I started praying every night for an example from God, the one He wanted me to use, since I know there are loads of examples of when people put other things before God. I though of Israel’s history of disobeying God, worshiping other gods, and being taken over by countless nations as a result, but to be honest I knew I did not have the time for a historical study and overview of Israel. So I was listening to the Bible the other day and I heard John 6 where Jesus basically claims to be the manna that the Israelites received in the desert. I looked back to Exodus 16 where God was providing them with Manna, bread from heaven for the 40 years that they were in the desert.
I’m sure there are others but we can find 3 ways that God is not enough for us in this chapter:
God is not enough for us because there is comfort in the old way.
and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” - Exodus 16:3
Even though they had been slaves in Egypt to the point that Pharaoh tried to control their population and put harder work on them, they longed for the comforts of their old home. They were caught in a “The grass is always greener” mentality where first the left Egypt for something that promised to be better but then wanted to go back to the old grass.
Numbers 11:4 says 4 The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
(Just a quick side note because it was something I learned while preparing. Apparently there were non- Israelites who came along with them when they left Egypt. These people were called the rabble meaning mixed company.)
We see this when we stay attached to unhealthy things rather than moving on. Some people stay in their depression or other illness because it’s familiar and what they know. There is comfort in suffering. Fear of the unknown is God not being enough for us. It keeps us from moving forward and even causes us to go back. The grass is always greener… I think it’s okay to be afraid because it drives us to rely on God, but for the Israelites it drove them to not trust God.
God is not enough for us because He is the one we have a problem with.
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At 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 grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” - Exodus 16:6-8
Although Moses and Aaron were the ones receiving the grumbling, it was still towards God. They were unhappy with how God was doing things.
We see this when we make our love for God conditionally based on His will making sense to us. I believe that crisis of faith can be healthy, but when all we want to do is complain about what God is doing rather than talk to Him about it, we enter an unhealthy place where complaining seems to be good enough but not God.
God is not enough for us because of our greed.
19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.” - Exodus 16:19-20
There is a saying that God gives us what we need and not always what we want. People always cheer until they later find out that it includes them. We want our cake and eat it too. We want God and sin.
Many of the Israelites wanted God to provide them with food, water, and the promised land but did not want to follow His instructions for it. “Thanks God for this food that all we have to do is pick up off the ground but we’ll take it from here.” Yet the food spoiled over night if they tried to keep it. they took the manna without question but then did not trust God for the next day’s food or maybe they were lazy and didn't want to wake up early, who knows.
It all starts with greed and pride. Greed causes us to take everything we can get and pride makes us selfishly use what we get. Yet the same passage we looked at provides proof that we are wrong. God provided for them all. He gave them water then they needed it and provided bread for 40 years.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” - Philippians 4:19-20
The problem is that the maggots of our greed infect every aspect of our lives. God provides for us all of our needs but we spoil the gifts when we hold onto them too long.
My challenge is to seek God today for something we have been greedily holding onto when God has said that He provided it to us for a purpose not for us to replace Him with it.