Thursday, October 1, 2015

Helping Others

Numbers 11:4-9
 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

A few things stand out to me in these verses.

First, the people were asking for someone to "give" them food to eat. They didn't want to go out and find it themselves, they just wanted it given to them. They were lazy. In fact, they were wishing htey were slaves again just so they could be given food.

Second, when God did provide them with food, manna, it wasn't a free ride. They had to gather it, and then grind or beat it and then bake it. There was work involved.

Now, if I think about America's system for "helping" those less fortunate, I see a difference. The government just keeps giving them things and many (not all) become slaves to the system. They become accustomed to being given things instead of working for it.

Shouldn't we look to God for an example of how to help others? Shouldn't we give them food, but still require some kind of work (remember, these are able-bodied people)? Even God's commands for gleaning required work on the part of the recipient.

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