Romans 8 tells us that God works everything out for the good of his people. This promise is how we can trust that God is working through everything in our lives. When we face trials and hardships, we can know that God is doing something good, even if we can't set it.
The Fall of humanity is the greatest trial the world has ever seen. Not only did it fracture or relationship with God, but it also broke the entire universe. As he does, though, God was working in the midst of the Fall, bringing good from bad, hope from despair, beauty from brokenness.
Out of the Fall God brought us meat.
Sure, God also brought salvation and redemption, but we can't forget the goodness of meat. Nothing had ever died in the Garden until God made clothes for Adam and Eve. Obviously it would have been better for humans to remain naked and unashamed, but if sin had to enter the world at least meat came with it.
In God's grace he has given us so much meat.
So many types of meat. So much evidence that God can bring good out of bad. Like most aspects of life, though, we have the ability to take something good and make it bad again.
After the Israelites had escaped Egypt, they soon began to long for their lives as slaves. One month of walking through the desert was enough to make the Israelites forget 400 years of slavery. Instead of celebrating everything that God had done for them, they wanted to go back to their lives before. Instead of resting in God’s grace and goodness, they wanted to go back to their pots of meat.
After witnessing all the plagues in Egypt and walking through the middle of the Red Sea, the Israelites complain that they want nothing more than to go back to their lives of slavery because at least they had pots of meat. Now I love meat more than most people, but even I can't understand the Israelites in this story.
I mean who would trade complete freedom for something as insignificant and inconsequential as meat?
I do that every day.
Every time I choose to sin and live life my way, it's like I'm longing for an Egyptian pot of meat. That meat had turned into a temptation for the Israelites, a reason to turn their backs on God and go back to their former lives. It may not be a pot of meat, but we all have temptations that at times cause us to turn our backs on God and go back to our former lives.
If only we could see our behavior how we see the Israelites’. Obviously longing for a pot of meat is ludicrous when compared to freedom and the opportunity to truly be God's people. But we're just as ludicrous when we trade our freedom in Christ for the sins of our past.
Lying, anger, lust, gossiping and laziness aren't as delicious as a pot of meat, but they still pale in comparison to the lives we can have in Christ.
Meat is good, but not so good that it should have tempted the Israelites back to Egypt. Our former ways and lives may seem attractive, but not when we understand the total freedom Jesus gives us.
What keeps you from going back to your pot of meat?