Tag: Numbers 10:1-7

Rabble-rousers take the heat!

Scripture Reading for February 13: Numbers 9-12

The Israelites are now ready to move out from Mt. Sinai, having 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 the cloud of God’s glory overshadowed the nearly three million people and animals.

But soon after moving out, 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 craving the foods of Egypt, remembering that the food there was “free”. (Numbers 11:4-6)  They let God and Moses know about it! God sent fire burning up the rabble and Moses interceded. (Numbers 11:1-3) 

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who are not happy unless they stir up some trouble.  Their pastor is not ‘feeding’ them. They don’t like the music.  The youth pastor has a tattoo.  The pastor’s wife is cold and aloof!  Nothing is as good as it used to be with the last pastor!  They complain that sermons are too long, the drums are too loud, and the pastor walked right by me and didn’t say ‘hello’ or shake my hand! We forget that when we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to take care of us and do right by us. 

Have you ever heard the people of God complaining about conditions in your church? Why do we remember the past with rose-colored glasses? Are there changes in your own heart and attitude that God is revealing to you through this story?

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