Quail: Answered Prayer

Numbers 11:4-6The rabble who were among them had{yielded to} greedy desires; and so the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 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, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”

From NetBible Num11:4

  • *The story of the sending of the quail is a good example of poetic justice, or talionic justice. God had provided for the people, but even in that provision they were not satisfied, for they remembered other foods they had in Egypt. … God will give them what they crave(answer prayer), but it will not do for them what they desire.
  • *The Hebrew simply uses the cognate accusative, saying “they craved a craving” (הִתְאַוּוּ תַּאֲוָהhitavvu tavah), but the context shows that they had this strong craving for food. The verb describes a strong desire, which is not always negative (Ps 132:13-14). But the word is a significant one in the Torah; it was used in the garden story for Eve’s desire for the tree, and it is used in the Decalogue in the warning against coveting (Deut 5:21).
  • rabble[0628] = mixed multitude, riffraff
  • greedy desires[08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
The people were not satisfied with the Lord’s miracle provision of manna. They craved another “food”,  another miracle – “meat”. 

Numbers 11:18-20 … Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

The people in yielding to this craving for meat actually rejected the Lord and His provision of manna. Manna = Bread from heaven = The Lord’s words (Jn6:31-35;Dt8:3)

Numbers 11:31-34Now there went forth a wind from the Lord and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32 The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 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. 34 So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy.

From NetBible Num11:31

  • *The irony in this chapter is expressed in part by the use of the word רוּחַ (ruakh). In the last episode it clearly meant the Spirit of the Lord that empowered the men for their spiritual service. But here the word is “wind.” Both the spiritual service and the judgment come from God. *Wind=judgement

From NetBible Num11:34

  • Kibroth-hattaavah[06914] = graves of lust
    *from [06913] = graves and  [08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
Be careful of being ungrateful for the Lord’s miraculous provision and demanding more. You may be trading the truth of God’s words(manna) for a lie(quail). You may get what you desire – another “new” food – a delusion that results in death. (Ro1:18-32;2Thess2:1-12)

Related:
Dream Big: Cloudy with a Chance of Quail by Mark Batterson

Quote from: http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/2012/05/seek-and-ye-shall-be-surprised-excerpt-batterson-circle-maker.html:
Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job. Your job is drawing a circle around the God-given dream. And if you do your job, you might just find yourself standing waist-deep in three feet of quail.

Beware of carving more than manna(God’s words). Indeed, your prayers for more may be answered, but you may just find yourself “buried” deep in quail!
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3 Responses to “Quail: Answered Prayer”

  1. Dana Klibert Says:

    Awesome word! I was thinking as I was reading about the few really severe times when my hearts desire is what I fervently prayed for in spite of His will & best for me was (which I ignored plainly written in His word) and He allowed “until it came out of my nose and ears” and wished I never had what I wanted. It only took a few times of that happening for me to understand that His perfect will for me is what will make me safe and truly happy no matter how things appear. I pray much more carefully now when it comes to something my heart wants because when God wants you to love His will above your own He makes sure you remember!

  2. khollandsblog Says:

    The back of The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson poses this question:
    “Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing?

    Doesn’t this sound a little like this question?

    Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” -Gen3:1

    The above is the enemy’s tactic to stir up a desire for more than the Lord has provided. A craving for more than manna(God’s words).

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