The Heart of the Problem

Our new life in Christ, with all of the resultant blessings, should lead to changed lives, lives that are consistent with our calling

Rom. 12:1
Ephesians 4:1
Ephesians 5:1f
Titus 2:10
1 John 3:1

The Five Problem Sins of Israel

are related to each other as root to fruit.

The root and natural fruit.

1. Insatiable cravings and Inordinate desires

Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire died out.

So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the LORD BURNED among them.

And 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?

“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,

but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna. ”

Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium.

The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil.

And when the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it.…

So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy – Numbers 11:1-9, 34.

They quickly forgot His works. They did not wait for His counsel – Psalm 106:13.

– “that we should not be cravers (those who crave) of evil things.”

– means, “one who craves.”

The Greek word, epiqumhths is an intensive compound noun.

“upon” + “to desire.”
-It means to keep your desire fixed upon something.

This noun, plus the present tense of the verb “to be,” in the verb that follows (epiqumew), describes this as an enduring disposition, state, or condition of the heart or mind, a condition of greed or craving of the heart.

This brings out the principles of
(a) insatiability
(b) loss of control.

Things never satisfy or fulfill as we expect or hope. Our pursuit of them can literally dominate us.

When we crave something, it creates a mad and fruitless search for happiness and fulfillment in the thing desired which it can never provide.

1. When we lust for things we are in essence worshipping and seeking our happiness, security, and meaning in those details regardless of their nature—position, power, prestige, possession, pleasure, etc.

2. When we lust for things, we are at the same time operating under the demonic and human delusion that things have the god-like ability to bring happiness and security and significant, etc.

The one who craves something treats that something as if it were God with the capacity to make him or her happy and secure. This is a form of idolatry.

What we must not fail to grasp is that craving things stems from a deeper root problem, from wrong perspectives, values, belief systems, and priorities.

The root problem the Israelites faced was that:

Their hearts were never truly fixed upon their spiritual blessings or upon the Lord.

While some meant business with the Lord, the majority didn’t and things became their treasure.


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