November 19, 2013
The temptation to desire to obtain things for free is a strong one. On the surface it seems innocent. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a gift, or winning something? Too easily, though, it crosses over into an ungrateful sense of entitlement. A consistent, settled demanding to have somebody else provide for me reveals a character flaw. I would go further to say that those who want to feed that demand also have a character flaw. I have written plenty on that aspect already.
Look at how free-stuff seekers are described in the book of Numbers:
4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.
– Numbers 11:4-5
How quickly these folks forgot that they had just been released from harsh slavery. Their living conditions had been brutal. Their desire to be free had been consuming them just weeks earlier.
Would you rather get free stuff or have liberty? I am not condemning anyone ever getting something for free. We all like to win prizes or find something. The character flaw has to do with a sense of entitlement, greed, and wanting someone else to take responsibility.
We all tend to have selective memory. We tend toward laziness. We tend to feel entitled. When Jesus did some miraculous signs publicly, particularly when he fed a huge crowd of people, they wanted to make Him king by force. (He wanted nothing to do with that, unlike the political class today, who seem to think they are kings already.)
The Israelites in this account were longing to return to the days of slavery, because at least their food was free. People today do not realize how the chains of slavery are being wrapped around them. All they seem to be able to see are the “free” things promised by politicians who seem either incredibly naive or incredibly evil.