“When the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled…” Numbers 11:1
"I deserve better." This statement is the heart cry of our sinful self. Ever since the Garden, this longing has driven our selfish behaviors. Eve believed God was holding out on her. She and Adam were convinced they deserved a better than perfect life. What we all received in return was something far worse. We inherited a sinful, selfish nature that continually pulls us away from God and toward what we believe we deserve. When was a time you felt like you deserved better?
What do we deserve? If we are truly sinful and selfish, we don't deserve better. We deserve worse. If God gave us what we deserve, we would all stand to inherit death for that is the wages of our sin (Romans 6:23). Instead of deserving better, we warrant His wrath.
As we launch our Me, Myself & I series, we begin with the Bible's prototype for self-centered behavior: the people of Israel. As God's chosen children, they had been given a position no nation could deserve. Through their lives, the world would come to see and know the one true God. And yet, time after time, they believed they deserved better. Read Numbers 11.
In this passage, we see what selfishness deserves. When the people grumbled against God's provision, the fire of His wrath burned among them. As they consumed the quail they had just complained about, they were struck with a great plague.
God gave them what they deserved. Aren't we glad we don't have to endure the same? In spite of our persistent selfishness, our Heavenly Father, through Christ, loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us enough to not let us be selfish.
How has your selfishness harmed you and the ones you love? How has your life been worse because you believed you deserved better?
This week's devotionals will bring you face to face with some of the ways selfishness might have taken root in your heart and life. During this series, we are going to prayerfully confront our selfishness and call upon God for forgiveness and mercy. As we begin, ask yourself: What do I need to surrender in order to end the damage of selfishness in my life?