“Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” (Numbers 11:10-17)
As you can see, Moses was stressed out from the grief the Israelites gave him. They were complaining about the manna that God had provided. They said, “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:5-6).
Did they really talk about how nice it was in Egypt? Had they forgotten the cruel bondage? How Pharaoh had their sons thrown into the river to drown or be eaten by crocodiles? “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive” (Exodus 1:22). Had they forgotten the plagues that God put on Egypt, sparing Israel? And how God destroyed Pharaoh and the mighty Egyptian army in the Red Sea? “…and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore” (Exodus 14:30).
Two lessons from the passage: first, don’t whine. Most of us are tempted to whine at some point. As a cop, you may be tempted to whine about the job because things aren’t perfect—they never are. But whining rarely does any good. If you’ve ever worked a tour of patrol duty with a whiny partner, you know how awful it is. Whining is also a bad testimony for Christ. If you know Jesus as Saviour but are tempted to whine, think instead of how the Lord brought you to Himself, and of things He’s done for you. As the Johnson Oatman hymn, says to do, count your blessings: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done.”
Second, when something’s bothering you, pray and give God details. As Psalm 62:8 says, “…pour out your heart before him.” Look how much detail Moses put into his prayer. God knew what Moses needed, but He met Moses’ need when Moses prayed. Do you have problems you’re trying to work out? Before you do anything else, pray and give God details and ask for help.
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Brian Miller 4/20/2018
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822