As I read through Numbers in my daily devotions, I came across a sad trend. The Israelites seem to be cursed with forgetfulness. Every time a new trial comes up, they completely forget what miracles God did in their past trials and go complain to Moses about bringing them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. (Never mind for a second that Moses didn't lead them out of Egypt at all. That credit goes to the Lord, yet somehow it's much easier to target God's servant than it is to target God, isn't it?)
Nowhere is this more obvious than in Chapters 20 and 21. In chapter 20, the Israelites are distraught over not having any water to drink. The Lord tells Moses to strike a rock with his rod, and water will come out. So he did, and so it came to pass, that the Israelites were given water to quench their thirst.
You would think then that they would be content for a while, but you know they weren't. In the very next chapter, they again are without food and water, and instead of just asking the Lord to provide as he had done before, they again complain to Moses that he brought them out to kill them off in the wilderness. This time the Lord responds with punishment of fiery serpents which brought with them a deadly disease. This causes the Israelites once again to remember that their Lord is the all-powerful God.
But for how long? We know that these same Israelites as they wander for forty years will once again complain to Moses about want of water. How is it that they keep forgetting God's past miracles?
Is it possible that we ourselves keep forgetting God's majesty in our own lives? I believe too often we have our own version of short-term memory loss that limits us to see the miracles God has provided both in the Bible and our everyday life. When one forgets such things, he will find himself much more easily caught in sin and distrust in the Lord, just as the Israelites did here. That is the main reason why I think it is so important that we start our day off reminding ourselves of the Lord's majesty and power. We can do this by reading our Bible and praying to our Lord as soon as we awake in the morning. That is how we can avoid the plague of forgetfulness that affected the Israelites in this situation.