The plans were big! Everyone was excited. You’ve done everything possible to prepare for this incredible vacation. You get in the vehicle and off you go singing through your favorite road trip playlist. Halfway through your day, the kid spits up french fries all over the back seat. Now you are driving with the windows down. The other kid complains about the windows being down, the car breaks down, the tow truck takes his time and charges his price, and now you will never make your hotel reservation. Before you realize it, all your aspirations have tanked. What was supposed to be is no longer a possibility? The frustrations can put you in a foul mood.
The people had left Sinai and their march was now organized with certain tribes in order and the Levites transporting the completed Tabernacle. They were a new nation! They were stepping out with a new identity ready to see God bring them into the Promised Land. The first steps of the day must have been exhilarating with expectation. Three days into the journey “the people complained” and the fire of the Lord burnt and consumed them. Clearly a disappointing turn to your upbeat start. Then the mixed multitude begins to realize they have eaten manna for nearly a year and they are getting a little tired of it. They remember how good they had it in Egypt. Discouragement creeps into the camp as Moses hears every man complain about the manna. So Moses does the right thing. He talks to God about it. How would you approach God if you were Moses? Maybe you would submit your resignation. Maybe you would suggest some alterations to their agreement. Moses? He asks God to kill him!
This is a clear indicator that depression has begun its stranglehold on Moses. The spiritual spiral they are descending hits rock bottom when God says He will provide meat for Israel for thirty days, and Moses immediately questions God’s ability. Disappointment turned into discouragement, which turned into depression, which became disbelief. This is fatal spiritually. Now there is no filter for your decisions. You are in a fog and in this delirium you act on impulse. God sends the quail and the people gather the prey for a day and a half and lay them out for preparation. It appears some could not wait any longer and began eating the quail inappropriately, “and while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” (Numbers 11:33).
The next time you find yourself in a foul mood think of the results of the “fowl” mood the Israelites found themselves. How can you protect yourself from this “fowl mood”? Watch out for the words, “If only.” If only things could be different starts you on a journey from disappointment to discouragement to depression to disbelief. Watch out for the “fowl mood.”