Be careful what you ask for

Be careful what you ask for

So he gave them what they asked for, but sent leanness into their soul. – Psalms 106:15

Psalms 78:23-25

 23 But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven.

 24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven.

 25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold.

Somehow it seems that no matter how much we have; it is never enough. We might think that perhaps this is the result of the overabundance of “things” that are available in the highly materialistic, productive 20th and 21st centuries. However, “wanting more” just seems to be part of our human DNA.

Beginning in the Garden of Eden, in an impeccable, pollution-free, idyllic, temperature-controlled, perfectly designed environment, the cornucopia of things provided by the Father was just not enough. Even though every need was satisfied, Adam and Eve still wanted more. Of course, the enemy knew this and developed a scheme, a strategy of temptation. They succumbed.

No doubt some might conclude that both the temptation and the tempter were too great to resist. But that is not the case. No matter how great the temptation, there is always another way. The onus is on each of us to find the way out, resist, and escape.

1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

What other layered, unseen risks were at stake in the temptation and giving in to it? First and foremost, having a relationship with the Father, the living God.

Without regard to the consequences, we all too often trade something precious for short-term pleasure or gratification.

Psalms 78 recounts the story of the children of Israel’s ungratefulness and discontentment with the miraculous provision of the Father.

The children of Israel were in the wilderness. There was limited food and little water for so many. The Father gave them a tremendous, supernatural, miraculous provision: manna from heaven. Manna was an organic health food sent directly from the Father’s hand to them.

Psalms 78:23-25

 23 He commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven.

 24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven.

 25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold.

What could possibly be wrong with manna? In a word, it’s sameness. It was predictable and boring! Manna, manna, manna, every day manna!  Roasted manna, boiled manna, sunbaked manna, barbecue manna, no matter what you do with it it’s always manna.

Numbers 11:18 Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!

This one sentence overflows with layers of ingratitude, defiance, and rebellion. They desired the “good old days.” The “good old days” of slavery in Egypt? They craved, they lusted after what they did not have. They forgot all of the marvelous and magnificent works of the Father. Ultimately, they doubted that the Father could or would provide for them. They were impatient and unwilling to wait for His solution.

Psalms 78:18-19

 18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved.

 19 They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness.”

Ponder this for a moment. After all they had seen and experienced, they now shamelessly provoked the Father, putting Him to a test. The challenge was boldfaced and audacious. Can the Father do what they were asking Him to do? Can He, or can’t He? Would He, or won’t He? It was almost as though they were making bets.


“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough” (Lao Tzu).

Father help me to learn to be content and grateful with what You provide for my needs.


Their “demand” was granted. They got the short-term gratification they were seeking. They got their wish, but there was collateral damage, unanticipated consequences. With the gift, came disaster: a wasting disease in their souls (Numbers 11:18-20).

Psalms 106:15 He granted their request, then struck them with a disease in their souls.

Numbers 11:33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.

How do we avoid having lean souls, but instead develop strong spirits (Luke 1:80)? The battle is in the mind and heart. We need to be able to say, “enough is enough.”

1 Corinthians 10:6-11

 6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did,

 10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.

 11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

Instead of grumbling about what you do not have, be grateful for what He has provided. Feed on the true Bread from Heaven.

John 6:27-35

 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

 32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.”

 33 “The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

 35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

They forgot His works, which were the undeniable evidence of the Father’s wisdom, power, and goodness. In so doing they forgot the Father. The Father “makes himself known by his works” (NET).

What have you asked for? Have you received it? Is your soul lean?

¯\_()_/¯ 12-07-9

One thought on “Be careful what you ask for

  1. Oh my, how often this is so true in my own life.
    So often we know exactly what the Lord wants us to do, then choose to go our own way.
    We think we can get away with it without consequences.
    I think of Jonah and his bold defiance of the will of God.
    It is so sad, because when our soul becomes lean we hardly even feel it.


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