1 Samuel, chapters 5-9

But he would return to Ramah, because his house was there, and there he also judged Israel. He built an altar there to Jehovah.
~1 Samuel 7:17

While reading the account of how Samuel went about leading the Israelites in true worship, I couldn’t help but wonder that he had built an altar at a place other than the tabernacle (De. 12:11).

Worshipping in high places was a practice God had clearly condemned until shortly before then (Jos. 22:29).
The indicated place of worship was supposed to be where God’s sacred Ark resided- the Ark symbolizing God’s divine presence.
However, with God’s sacred Ark having been robbed from the tabernacle, Jehovah allowed his worshippers to practice their faith elsewhere, so long as it remained clean of idolatry (1 Ki. 3:2-4).

God’s reasonableness is thus reflected in the flexibility he offers his servants when they are sincerely approaching him to worship.

A Samaritan woman once inquired of the Messiah about the proper place to worship (John 4:19,20).

Jesus’s reply clearly indicates that the determining factor in whether God accepts someone’s worship is the attitude with which a person approaches God, not so much the physical place the person is at.
He also mentioned that it should be spirit-based, or free of idol use (John 4:24).

An example of this can be seen today in the hundreds of conscientious objectors who are imprisoned for practicing their faith.
Although they are in most cases isolated from the worldwide brotherhood, without a doubt Jehovah hears their prayers and holds their worship in high esteem.

Deuteronomy, chapters 14-18

You may then convert [the offering] into money, and with your money in hand, travel to the place that Jehovah your God will choose.

~Deuteronomy 14:25

God’s commandments are not so burdensome that they are practically impossible to carry out (1 John 5:3).

His main purpose behind having the Israelites congregate was that he wanted them to rejoice and show hospitality toward others (De. 14:26,27).

Even though the semi-annual trips to the assembly place carried expenses, physical effort, travel time, and business losses, God personally promised “Jehovah your God will bless you,” (De. 14:24).

Today we have many ways of contributing to the fulfillment of God’s will.

Although regular monetary contributions are useful, many of God’s commandments imply personal sacrifices in both time and effort.

We cannot exchange these acts of obedience for something more convenient, but God’s blessing will rejoice each one of his servants on a personal level.

Numbers, chapters 10-13

So all that day and all night and all the next day, the people stayed up and gathered the quail.
No one gathered less than ten ho′mers [2200 L, or 581 gall.], and they kept spreading them all around the camp for themselves.
But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be chewed, Jehovah’s anger blazed against the people, and Jehovah began striking the people with a very great slaughter.
~Nu. 11:32,33

Israel had traveled roughly 425 km (264 mi) when they started complaining about eating manna.

The “mixed-crowd,” or non-Israelites,who were in their midst then expressed selfish longing, and the Israelites too began to weep again and say: ‘Who will give us meat to eat?'” (Nu. 11:4).

Moses, brought to the brink of desperation, complained to Jehovah.

“From where will I get meat to give to all this people?
For they keep weeping before me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ […]
If this is how you are going to treat me, please kill me right now.
If I have found favor in your eyes, do not make me see any more calamity,” (Nu. 11:13,15).

Yes, even Moses, who had confronted Pharaoh, crossed the Red Sea on dry land, spoken with God on several occasions, laid down the foundations of law and religion for millions of people, even he had limitations and came to feel suicidal.

Jehovah heard Moses out and promised to bring meat to the people (Nu. 11:18).

Moses doubted this but Jehovah reassured him that he was perfectly capable of accomplishing the task, also noting that the people of Israel had hurt God’s own feelings with their ungrateful complaining (Nu. 11:20-23).

“Then a wind from Jehovah sprang up and began driving quail from the sea and causing them to fall around the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and they were about two cubits [89 cm, or 2.9 ft.] deep on the ground,” (Nu. 11:31).

The Awake! magazine from December of 2007 draws the following lesson:

When the Israelites desired meat to eat in the wilderness, Jehovah provided an abundance of quail.
Greed caused them selfishly to abuse that gift, greatly angering Jehovah God.
God has not changed since then.
Accordingly, responsible Christians avoid needless waste, which could be a sign of greed.
Some may view the unlimited consumption of energy or other resources as their right.
But natural resources should not be squandered simply because we can afford them or there is an abundance.
After Jesus miraculously fed a large crowd, he directed that the remaining fish and bread be gathered (John 6:12).
He was careful not to waste what his Father had provided.

And just as God exterminated those who made immoderate use of resources then, God warns us of our own future through a prophecy in the book of Revelation:

“[…] Your own wrath came, and the appointed time came […] to bring to ruin those ruining the earth,” (Re. 11:18).

Food for thought. 🙂