Psalm 78

Photo of a candy vending machine by Marc Noorman on Unsplash

“They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.”

This psalm is one that constantly grabs my attention. It does so on multiple levels. Today, as I sit here meditating on it verse 18 almost levitated off the page.

It wasn't the putting God to the test bit that jumps out. It is the “demanding the food they craved,” bit.

I am such a selfish and self-centered person. So much of my feelings toward the Divine is related on whether or not my cravings are met. I don't think in my life I have ever experienced need. (At least not knowingly, I am sure that my mom would be able to tell me some behind the scenes times when things were really hard.)

During the first few years of our marriage finances were tight. We laugh about taking rolled coins to Hot 'N Now for date nights. But, even then, we had all our needs met. We had food and housing and clothes and vehicles and gasoline. There was no need that we had that wasn't taken care of.

There have been times that I have had some significant desires for material items and those were not able to be met. “Oddly”, it was during those when I felt like the Divine was farthest from me.

Golly gee why was that?

Because my wants and desires weren't being met.

Now, let's be very clear, I am not equating seasons of deep and abiding pain with what I'm wrestling with. I have friends who have lost children and spouses. Questioning the presence and care of the Divine in those times is not what I'm wrestling with today.

No, I'm wrestling with this sense of feeling like God has failed me because I haven't received my wants and desires like a spoiled child.

I think this is what the psalmist is getting at with this line about the “food they craved.” God was providing for the need of the people but they wanted more. They wanted their cravings met. Jesus fed the 5000 and they chased him around the lake, wanting more.

My belly, my cravings, my desires drive so much of how I move through the world.

Today I'm wrestling with the question, “Am I learning to be content or am I being overtaken by my cravings?”


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