The Food We Had In Egypt
May 30, 2021
The Food We Had In Egypt
What we crave can kill us
Main point: The things we escape to in one season of life can become the very things we become enslaved to in the next.
Numbers 11:4-6 (NLT)
Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. 5 “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”
The Israelites left Egypt and were now in a strange place. All they wanted was something familiar to eat, which was meat, fish specifically.
It’s been 430 years now since they entered Egypt. When they first entered, they were not slaves, they were only slaves for 400 years (Gen. 15:13).
For the first 30 years, Egypt was a safe haven, a place of refuge from a famine. This was a place that fed them what they needed to survive (Gen. 43-47).
Gen. 41:53-55 describes a 7-year famine that began, just as Joseph was foretold by God in a dream. So the Israelites came to Egypt not out of slavery but for survival.
Gen. 41:57- “And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.”
The Feel of the Famine
Gen. 41:54-55a (NIV)
and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine…”
Maybe you’re experiencing the feel of a famine in your life: a famine of true love, intimacy, or encouragement.
God can use a famine to get us into a place or position of His purpose.
Deut. 8:3 (NLT)
Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna…He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”!
God gets us to a place where nothing in this world satisfies us anymore. He can use that dissatisfaction to create a hunger for more of Him. A place where He alone satisfies every need we have in life.
For God to move in our lives, He’ll remove things or people to create that “feel of famine” that all of Egypt felt, including the Israelites.
Gen. 41:57 (NIV)
And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
Sin meets a need.
Sin meets a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.
Whatever we’re craving in life, Jesus truly satisfies!
Everything else is just smoke and mirrors, just a distraction of our true need for Him in our life!
Heb. 12:1-2 (NLT)
…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
The ONLY way true authentic lifelong change happens is a personal relationship with Jesus!
Why did Israel want Egypt back?
We, as humans, all self-medicate when we are in a lot of pain.
Maybe you use words and anger as a defense mechanism so that you won’t be abused in the areas you feel most vulnerable.
Some of us are drawn to friends that keep us in slavery. They are comfortable because they’ve been there our whole lives. They’re predictable.
When we meet friends that actually challenge us to change and leave our old lives behind, we push them away.
Just because it’s comfortable doesn’t mean it’s safe.
“The reason I’m this way is because my family was this way, I’m destined to be this way.”
“They’re that way because they were raised in a good home, they were born into a rich family, I’ll never achieve what they’ve achieved.”
“I’m this way because I was ‘born this way’. It’s just my DNA.”
“This has been a part of my life for so long, I can’t see myself living without it”
These comfort phrases keep us in the chains of bondage because it’s the lies we’ve fed on our whole dysfunctional life.
What do I have an appetite for?
They lost their appetite for a miracle.
If I run back to Pharoah (my old life), I’ll never be truly full or free.
If you want the fish you had in Egypt, you’ll have to suffer the whips and chains of slavery you had there too. It comes with a price!
Jesus satisfies us in ways so that we are eternally full and eternally free!
John 6:35 NLT
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.”
Your Father’s Fridge Is Full.
Luke 15: story of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:13 (NIV)
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
Luke 15:14 (NIV)
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
You’re spent on what feeds you but doesn’t fill you. Eventually you’ll just become spent.
Most things that are your “Egypt” are called a “feed.” A social media “feed.”
It “feeds” you, but it doesn’t fill you?
Luke 15:14b (NIV)
…there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.”
It was good that there was a personal famine….because it brought him back to his father.
Luke 15:15 (NIV)
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
You don’t belong in this foreign land.
You don’t belong to the citizenship of the country of this world.
You don’t belong to whatever is trying to draw you away from the Father.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
Luke 15:16 (NIV)
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
He was willing to fill himself with things that were meant for animals, the comfort food of Egypt. Have we been doing that? Maybe it’s thoughts that you have? Things that you’ve been believing? Lies that you’ve been going to, just to feel full for 5 minutes.
Luke 15:17 (NIV)
When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!”
My father’s fridge is full!
Truth is an acquired taste when you’ve been feeding on lies your whole life.
Identify and Eliminate the Rabble
Numbers 11:4 (NIV)
The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!”
The craving for meat (their old life) all started with the rabble. What’s the rabble?
The rabble were the Egyptians that left with them.
Dakes commentary: (mixture of Egyptians who had married Israelites, along with the Kenites)
Exodus 12:37 (NIV)
The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
They were with them, but not one of them.
When you left Egypt (your old life), all of Egypt didn’t leave you!
The rabble is not just people of your old life, it can also be perspectives, patterns, habits, attitudes, etc. The things that went with you.
2 Cor. 5:17 says you are a new creation in Christ, but don’t be surprised when some of the old cravings are still there and try to come back. That’s the rabble.
Just because it’s uncertain doesn’t mean it’s unsafe.
With the Israelites, God sent them exactly what they wanted, so much quail that it actually came out their noses in Numbers 11:20. Even while it was in their teeth, the Lord’s anger burned against them and a plague came upon them.
Dakes: 20,160,000,000 quail. Cost: over 20 billion dollars @ $1.00 each
Numbers 11:34 (NIV)
Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.
Dakes: Kibroth Hattaavah literally means “graves of lust.”
Pharoah’s food will never fill you; it kills you.
We’re living in a day and time when we’re going to choose either a funeral or a feast.
We can have the funeral of the rabble so we can feast on what the Father has for us.
There’s no need for you to starve for what your Heavenly Father has plenty of.
He has everything you’ll ever need and want. What we have to do is identify what we substitute for Him, give it to Him, and eliminate it from our lives.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight (rabble) that slows us down, especially the sin (rabble) that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
- Be honest with yourself and ask God to identify the “rabble” in your life, the cravings of your old life.
- Give those things to God. Ask Him to take the craving of your old life from you and to have an appetite for His miracles in your life again.
- Talk to someone about your rabble. James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”