|Minister:||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop|
|Text:||Numbers 11:1-3, 10-17, 24-29|
|Psalters:||134, 120, 292, 180|
- The consuming fire.
- After three days’ journey (10:33) they camped for a bit at a place named Taberah (later “Kibroth-hattaavah”).
- We are not told why they complained – only that they complained.
- So quickly (only 30 to 40 miles from Sinai) the people (as a whole) forgot important points.
- The judgment of fire divided, consuming “them that were in the uttermost pats of the camp” (1b).
- The complaining originated and continued among the mixed multitude.
- This event is a good example of how God deals with His instituted church as a whole.
- What caused the fire to cease?
- This event occasioned Moses’ complaining and becoming very despondent (11-15).
- Moses’ complaint to God is understandable but may not be condoned.
- It is a righteous displeasure at the Israel’s complaining and weeping.
- Moses is displeased, dejected and confused. He views his office as a source of affliction.
- But this was sinful – as sinful as the people.
- Moses was not seeing this burden of their complaining from the perspective of faith.
- Also he forgot that he never could do the work alone! That he is always completely dependent on the Lord.
- Further, he lost view of God’s favor having convinced himself that God does not love him.
- Moses exaggerated: God is slowly killing him with the work, so why not give me a quick death (15).
- At the same time, Moses’ despondency is an evidence of God’s anger against Israel.
- God mercifully responds to Moses’ complaint because He sees him in Jesus.
- God supplied Moses with 70 elders (24).
- These might have been the same 70 of Exodus 24:9, but Moses in despair had forgotten them.
- Now they are given the Moses’ spirit, so they can prophesy.
- The incident of two of the 70: Eldad and Meldad (26-29).
- May assume that their being in the camp was proper.
- Joshua’s jealousy was wrong because it aims at the honor of men.
- Moses responds beautifully, as did Jesus (Luke 9:50) and Paul (Phil. 1:18).