We want to know the Lord! It isn’t that we don’t know Him, but we do not know Him enough. I think most of us realize that our relationship with the Lord is far short of what it should be. I also believe most of us know what we need to do, but we are too lazy. I remember many years ago a sports writer talking with Joe Louis, one of the greatest prizefighters of all time, asked why there were so few greats, and he said, “The boys ain’t hungry enough!” Why are so many Christians immature spiritually? The answer: they ain’t hungry enough! Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6.
Exodus 16:1-3 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of
the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim
and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of
the land of Egypt.
2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Those flesh pots were not that good. It was not good meat with leeks and melons. Not a very good diet. However, when the Israelites got out into the wilderness they remembered the diet they had in Egypt. Suddenly that diet seemed better than what they were going through in the wilderness.
A wilderness is always set before us. Jesus went into the wilderness after He was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist (Matthew 4:1). A wilderness precedes ministry. A wilderness precedes the kind of relationship with the Lord that we need. The wilderness experience is very important. However, many people will say, “Well, we were the Lord’s people back there in Egypt. It wasn’t so bad. Remember those flesh pots we had? We had bread to the full such as it was.” They crave the old diet. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. Those old flesh pots did not contain righteousness. It contained a very meager diet that wasn’t very good at all.
Numbers 11:4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting…
The mixed multitude… When the children of Israel came out of Egypt they had been there over a long span of time, several hundred years. During that time, all of the ones leaving were born while they were in Egypt so they had been brought up under the customs of the land. They had been under all the influences of what was really Egypt. Many Egyptians went with the ones who came out under the guidance of Moses and Aaron. Some of the Israelites had married Egyptians so there was a mixed multitude. They were not all pure Israel at the time.
That describes Christianity also. It is a mixed multitude. It has a lot of man in it and a little bit of God. There are a lot of man-made rules. It is difficult with a mixed multitude. That was the problem Jesus had when dealing with the Pharisees and scribes, the people of Judah. They had been so accustomed to the diet of the law until what Jesus had to say didn’t sound that good. It was a different diet, a diet on a different realm. Their taste buds had already been perverted. So here we have this mixed multitude and they were hungry.
Numbers 11:4-6 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and
the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to
5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic:
6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
The mixed multitude craved the old diet. If you have tried to lose weight, you know it takes more than discipline. There has to be a change of lifestyle. Our taste buds get perverted. They get accustomed to certain things because of the way we were raised. For example, I was raised in the South and I love that southern diet. You get accustomed to that and that is what you want. Something new and different doesn’t always taste that good. This was the problem the Israelites had. They had manna that God had prepared for them but that wasn’t good enough. They wanted to go back to what they had in Egypt.
What was the problem? They could not handle the responsibilities connected with freedom. When you are in Egypt and you are in bondage a certain diet is there for you, but when you get out of Egypt and begin to move in the freedom of the Lord then a new diet becomes available. Many times one cannot handle the responsibilities of freedom.
How often does a young person say, “I can’t wait to get away from home”? They want to get out on their own. But they don’t realize they have to buy a car, pay rent, buy groceries, do this and that and all the responsibilities that were taken care of by their parents when they lived at home. Freedom can be difficult because of the responsibilities. It cost something to be free; it costs a change of diet.
This mixed multitude had a perverted taste. They would rather have the diet of slaves. Now we come to the time of Jesus, and He is faced with the Jewish. They had been worshipping the Lord in the synagogue according to the Law of Moses, or at least according to the way the Pharisees interpreted the Law of Moses. Jesus comes on the scene and He does not fit the mold they had made for the Messiah.
John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
The manna that God provided in the wilderness was good, but here is another bread that is on a higher realm.
John 6:33-35 For the bread of God is He which comes down from heaven, and gives
life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto Him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to Me shall never hunger; and he that believes on Me shall never thirst.
The bread of God is a He; it is the Lord! In other words, you are not going to be famished if you come unto the Lord. Here is some bread, some life for you.
John 6:41,48-56 The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread
which came down from heaven.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoso eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in Me, and I in him.
Jesus is presenting something very mystical. It is on a much higher realm, but the Jews did not want anything on a higher realm. They wanted what they had been getting all along. They liked that Moses diet, the old Judah law. They grew up on that and it tasted good. “We’re hungry for more. We just want more of God.” But the God they wanted was more of the same old thing they had been having. They did not want something new. They didn’t want something that was more in God. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons why. One, the responsibility – a dying out to self is required. They didn’t want to do that.
John 5:66 From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.
Not just many of the multitude, but many who claimed to walk as disciples with Jesus went back and did not walk anymore with Him. They didn’t want that diet. The diet the Pharisees and scribes presented to the people of Israel were just like those old flesh pots with the leeks, melons, and the garlic. They were enslaved to a law, something of man. That is what they craved while all the time saying, “We’re of God. We want more of Him.” What they were partaking of was something of man, something on a lower level.
Everyone eventually will have to decide if they want to continue with the diet they are now getting or if they want to move into a new diet on a higher realm. When you move into a new land, you start partaking of a new diet. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, the manna stopped. Now they had to partake of what was available in the land of Canaan. The previous diet was gone; it was no longer available. It is not a good thing to keep hungering after the same old diet.
Luke 6:21 Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh.
Are you hungry? You shall be filled, but you have to understand what the Lord is saying here. It is a hunger for something more. Not just something more of the same thing you have been getting, but something more on a higher level.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! For you shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep.
This is just the opposite of verse 21. Those of you who are full, what is Jesus talking about? If you are satisfied, you are full, satisfied with what you now have. As long as you are satisfied with where you are and with the diet you have, you are not going to hunger for anything on a higher level. Woe unto you that are full! Woe to those who are satisfied with their present diet and do not have that hunger for something more of God.
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6. It is one thing to hunger after experiences; it’s another thing to hunger after righteousness. I remember in the early days of my immaturity how the Lord guided me and led me in ways that were obvious. There were little miracles. He spoke loudly to my heart. Does He do it now? No, now the voice gets weaker. Now it is more difficult to be led of the Lord than it was then. What is the difference? Well, the difference is when you are dumb and ignorant God has to speak loudly to get you to understand. Now He expects our hearing to get sharper. He wants us to hear that still small voice. We get indications and prods from the Lord. Why is He doing that? He wants to sharpen our awareness of His presence and of His leading, so when you are immature it takes a loud voice out of heaven but as you grow in the Lord the voice gets weaker. You have to be sharper and more tuned-in. You even get a new diet in leadings.
Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness. “Gosh, the way the Lord has been leading me is just wonderful! I just love the Lord so much. I want more of Him, oh, I want more.” But that is not hungering after righteousness. That is hungering after the same thing. The same thing will not get you into the next realm.
We visited a church one Sunday. I was moved in my heart because of the immaturity but they weren’t aware of it. I was reminded of the scripture where Jesus looked upon the people and wept. He said they were like sheep without a shepherd, but they did not know they didn’t have a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). I talked with the pastor some and he told me about all the hunger he had for the Lord. I felt his hunger for the Lord would lead him in the right direction, but I never felt good about it. Yesterday the Lord opened it to me so I could see exactly what it was. He wanted more of the same thing. God led him in a few things, but he did not want anything new. He didn’t want a new diet. He liked the diet he had and didn’t want anything new. He did not want anything that would cost him more. He was satisfied; he was full.
Everybody is partaking of some kind of diet. There is nothing wrong with being immature and partaking of milk as long as you don’t stay there. When you grow, your diet changes and you begin partaking of something more. I think the Lord has blessed us with a good Word. Some mystical things of the Word have opened up. The Lord has blessed us tremendously. We also realize the danger of being satisfied. We expect to expand. We expect our diet to change and that will mean a change of lifestyle. If you want to lose weight, then your diet and lifestyle have to change – what you eat, what you like, what you do. There is a life change involved. Real change requires life change. Then you realize it is a battle. A lot of people never make that life change because they can’t handle the battle. They can’t handle the discipline and the work, so they back off.
It will take something to move into the fulfillment of what God has spoken over your life. Can we make the life change? Is there a hunger for what lies before us or are we satisfied with where we are? “I like the blessings. These blessings that God has given are good. We’ll just stay right here and keep on being blessed.” No, you won’t. Sooner or later the blessings stop because you don’t move on in. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Copyright © 2007 by Henry DuBose