Congregation Beth Ha'Mashiach
(House of the Messiah) - Worshipping ADONAI
& His Messiah, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach
Living & teaching as our
Messiah taught us to Live
Congregation serving Northeast Atlanta Georgia (Gwinnett, Barrow, Dekalb,
554-2867 - email:
Beha’alotcha- בהעלתך : “When you set up” Torah : Numbers 8:1–12:16 Haftarah : Zechariah 2:10–4:7 Gospel : John 5, 6
The Punishment of Abundance
Thought for the Week:
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s disciples asked him, “Why did [God send the manna every day instead of ] once annually?” He replied, “I will tell you a parable. It can be compared to a mortal king who had an only
son. The king gave his son an allotment once a year, but then the son only visited his father once a year. Thereupon the king started portioning out the allotment daily so that his son had to visit him every
day. God did the same with Israel. A man who had four or five children would worry, saying, ‘Perhaps no manna will come down tomorrow, and all will die of starvation.’ Therefore the Israelites had to turn their
hearts to their Father in Heaven every day.” (b.Yoma 76a)
There is a common proverb that says, “Be careful what you ask for; you might get it.” Such was certainly the case with Israel in the wilderness. Their disdain for manna and their longing for the familiar led
them to cry out for meat. While in route to Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel cried out to the LORD for provision, and He answered them. He sent quail into their midst. In Exodus 16:13 we read, “So it came
about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp…” Immediately after Israel received the quail, the manna began to descend. One year later the Children of Israel had grown to despise the manna.
The LORD punished their malcontented nature by answering their prayer and sending an abundance of quail. He withheld the manna and gave the Israelites a month’s supply of quail.
“You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the
LORD.” (Numbers 11:19-20)
Of course, without any preservatives or refrigeration, a month’s supply of quail turned rancid quickly. Sickness and plague followed. After a few days of quail, the Israelites were longing for the manna they
In our lives we often experience the same dynamic. We find ourselves punished with abundance. Abundance is not always a blessing. Avarice and greed are quick to follow. A culture with too much food eats too
much and becomes overweight and insensitive. A family with too much income begins to spend foolishly and finds it increasingly difficult to give the same proportion to the work of the Kingdom. It is far easier
to labor for the kingdom when things are lean. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
The daily provision of the manna reminds us to be dependent upon God day by day. If a man could store up manna, hoarding it like money, he could be confident of his sustenance for many days to come. But the
manna could not be hoarded. It required a daily dependence upon God.
The Master tells us that instead of seeking to store up treasure on earth, (which inevitably steals our hearts away from heaven), we are to merely ask for our daily bread. That is to say, we should be asking
that the LORD will provide for us according to His measure and good purpose, even as He provided daily bread from Heaven for Israel while they were in the wilderness.
Shavuah Tov! Have a Good Week!
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