You are in a desert wasteland. You haven’t eaten food in days. The last time you had a drink of water was two days ago. You are parched and your stomach is screaming at you. You don’t know when your next meal or drink will be coming.
In the distance you see Monty Hall and boy does he have a sweet deal for you. With the sun beating down on you and sapping what remaining strength you have, you crawl to him. He tells you about the beautiful prize that could be yours. It’s a lifetime supply of the most amazing food that you’ll ever eat.
Any restaurant will serve you any food that you want any time that you want it. If you are a meat and potatoes type of fella you can pick your favorite restaurant and chow down. No cost. If you are one of those hipsters that digs rabbit food then you can to your favorite café and eat twigs and berries to your hearts content. No cost.
But here’s the deal–all you have to do to enjoy this food for the rest of your life is give up your children and work as a slave for this company.
Of course you don’t do that deal. That’s foolish. It doesn’t matter how terrific these potatoes are—they aren’t worth your children. No mouth-watering steak is more valuable than freedom. You’d never do that deal.
Or would you?
That is essentially the same test that was given to the Israelites in the wilderness. And they chose Egypt.
You can perhaps sympathize with such a foolish choice when someone is facing the brink of starvation. But they made the same choice when they were filled with God’s provisions. Why? Why would they rather go back to Egypt instead of follow the Lord in the wilderness?
Simple. They had a heart of evil craving. They wanted what they wanted and the wanted it now—and they didn’t care how they got it or by whose hand it came.
Our Wilderness Test
It’s not difficult to see that such a heart is still present in our day. You see it in the man that is craving sexual pleasure. He doesn’t care if it’s met by his wife, a magazine, a movie, or some lady at a bar. He doesn’t care how he gets it or what it costs.
You see this in the person that is craving comfort. She doesn’t care if it comes from a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of pills, or even if it comes after she’s screamed and pouted her way into getting what she wants. She doesn’t care how she satiates her craving—she just wants to be filled.
You see this in the church member who craves control. He doesn’t get his way on a particular issue and so he pouts and plots and begins some sort of passive aggressive plan to get his way. He wants church to be a certain way (he may even be right) but he doesn’t really care what it takes to get there.
It’s there in the guy that is craving financial security. He doesn’t care how he gets the money. He’ll cheat on taxes, he’ll get his money on gambling boat, he’ll make unfair business deals, he’ll cheat someone, he’ll work ridiculous hours and neglect his family. I want what I want and I don’t really care how I get it.
You’ve likely got cravings—things that may very well be in themselves God-given cravings—that you don’t care how they get met. And so I want to invite you to a moment of heart searching.
Am I satisfied if I have everything that I want but it didn’t come from the hand of God? Or would I rather live in want and yet have everything that I have from the hand of the Lord?
Let us be desperate to pursue every provision only from the hand of the Lord.