Beha'alotcha - May 29, 2021

Torah Portion:
Beha’alotcha - May 29, 2021

Torah: Numbers 8:1-12:16
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14(10)-4:7
Portion Summary:
—Positioning of the lamps on the lampstands is specified.
—Further rules of Passover are given.
—Patterns of the cloud and fire over the Tabernacle are explained.
—Silver trumpets for summoning and alerting the people are commanded to be made.
—Moses’ father-in-law is offered a place in the land but leaves for home.
—The people become dissatisfied and grumble; God is angered, gives them quail and a plague.
—Miriam is made “leprous” for speaking against Moses and his wife.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Needs vs. Wants
“The grumblers among them began to have cravings, so Bnei-Yisrael began to wail repeatedly, saying, ‘If we could just eat some meat! We remember the fish that we used to eat in Egypt, for free—the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic!’” Numbers 11:4-5 (TLV)

Grumbling often starts with a small group’s dissatisfaction but can spread like a contagion to many, generating discontent in others. Simply put, a few negative words can quickly become a great chorus of complaint.

The people forgot the conditions under which all this variety of “free” food was obtained. Slaves are given food for endless work that sometimes hastens their own death. They also forgot to give gratitude to their provider for truly free food.

If you look back to the times when the people complained about no food and no water, you see that God did not get angry. He waited for them to ask, and then freely gave them the necessities of life. God gave them manna to meet their nutritional needs, but the people grumbled about the lack of variety. Their desire for meat instead of what God had provided for them gave their discontent a foothold, which when in full bloom became a chorus of grumbling that angered Adonai.

Are there things that you fairly ache for, which rise from desire and not need? Are these things that you feel entitled to have? Consider whether these things are truly urgent. You may yet receive them, but you may also find upon reflection that they are not as necessary to your welfare as you think! Gratitude should always be the first choice in approaching God.

Dear Father,
I thank You for Your provision for me. Sometimes I feel that I desire things that You have not seen fit to give me, but I will wait patiently and pray for Your wisdom and timing in these desires, knowing that You are always loving and generous.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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