Tag: Moses prayed

Rabble-rousers!

Scripture Reading for February 14th: Numbers 9-12

In today’s reading, the Israelites are ready to move out from Mt. Sinai after receiving the ten commandments.  They have just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary of leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year now and are ready to go to the land of promise.  What excitement must have filled their hearts as they prepared to follow the cloud of God to their new home!  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and went in the lead with the cloud overshadowing them.  What a sight!  Nearly 3 million people and animals moving through the desert!

Shortly after moving out from Mt. Sinai, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp.  They were often not true Israelites and were of mixed descent.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with this God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot and dry, and the journey got long and tiring, these “rabble-rousers” began to cause trouble.  They began craving the foods of Egypt.  (Numbers 11:4-6)  They were tired of the manna and let God and Moses know about it!

God sent fire, burning up some of this group and Moses prayed for them. (Numbers 11:1-3)  The people began wailing and complaining and Moses became distraught, not knowing how to deal with all the trouble.

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who  like to complain and belly-ache!  They are not happy unless they stir up some trouble.   But when we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to take care of us or do right by us.  This complaint made God angry and His leaders usually feels bad too. (Numbers 11:10-12) When things don’t go as you expect or desire, avoid the temptation to complain.  Instead, pray for your leadership.  Ask them how you might help them.  Look for something good to say and encourage them. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  Remember that rabble-rousers always ended up taking the heat! (fire from God!)

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Answered Prayer!

Scripture reading for February 18th: Numbers 26-30

Moses came to the end of his life strong and healthy but he had sinned against the Lord.  He would not be able to enter the promised land, only look at it from a distance.  (Numbers 27:12-14)  God was going to gather him to his people who had already left this world.  Moses had been a man of faith but had dishonored God before the people when he struck the rock a second time instead of speaking to it as God instructed.

When he knew his time was over, Moses uttered a final request to the Lord concerning leadership of His people.  This prayer is instructive for us today.  “Moses said to the Lord, ” May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”” (Numbers 27:15-17)

Moses had a shepherd’s heart.  He had cared for the people for forty years after caring for Jethro’s sheep in the desert for the previous forty years.  He knew that these people needed a shepherd who could lead them and care for them.  He knew that people wander away like sheep and get lost.  He knew that wild animals devoured wandering sheep and they needed protection.  He also knew that only God could appoint the shepherd that could truly care for these human sheep!

The immediate answer of God was to appoint Joshua, the son of Nun, a man who had the Spirit in him.  Joshua was a noted man of faith who had stuck close to Moses the past forty years.  Moses was to lay his hands on him and impart the mantle of leadership.  (Numbers 27:18-20)  He would lead the Israelites with the guidance of God’s wisdom through Eleazar the high priest.

God answered then with Joshua and now has provided something better for us! Jesus Christ is the true shepherd who truly cares for all of God’s sheep!  (John 10:11)   He demonstrated his love for the sheep by giving His life for them!  He has given us His Spirit to live in us and guide us daily.  (John 16:13-15)  Listen to your Shepherd Jesus today and follow Him out of sin and into your eternal destiny.

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