The chosen people of God were a whiny, ungrateful bunch. God hears their cry from Egypt and send them a deliverer. Things got worse in Egypt before they got better. Pharaoh made them work harder after the first meeting with Moses. Then after a great show of God’s strength and favor, finally they were on their way. The eleven day journey to the Promised Land took them forty years and a whole generation of rebellious, selfish people had to pass away before they could even cross over the Jordan. Those “chosen” complained about almost everything. When they whined that there was no food God sent them Manna, bread from Heaven. There are so many other places where they complained, accused Moses of trying to murder them, and wished they were back in Egypt “where at least we had cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.”
Today, we will take a look at when they whined about the Manna. Let’s take up the story in Numbers 11:10-15 (NASB).
“Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the LORD, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.”
Moses is feeling the pressure of leading so many people. He feels the people are a “burden.” He goes so far as to even remind God that he hadn’t conceived them, they weren’t his children. I can feel Moses pain. Have you ever had a disobedient child, a whiney toddler, coworkers who grumbled and complained constantly? Then you have experienced some of what Moses is going through. It is important to also note that God was angry, very angry.
Now before we shake our heads and click our tongues over the hard to lead Israelites, let’s take a look at our own lives. We all have someone over us in authority. Parents, teachers, bosses, shift leaders, pastors, elders, government officials, etc. Are we sometimes a burden? ‘Ouch’ or ‘oh me.’
Hebrews 13:17 (NIV) “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
Simply put, God has appointed those who are over you. They have to give an account to God for you. We are supposed to be a joy to them…not a burden. So maybe we aren’t as bad as those stiff-necked Israelites, but do our bosses cringe when we walk in, or smile? Do the ministry leaders want you on their team, or would they rather not even ask?
Thankfully all of the Israelites weren’t so horrible. During a great battle, against Amalek, (Exodus 17), Moses took his rod and went up on top of the hill to watch the battle. When Moses held the rod up, the Israelites would win. When the rod was lowered they lost. Soon Moses arms became heavy. He couldn’t do it alone. Aaron and Hur each took one of his arms, and they held them up so that the people would have the victory. Then when the twelve spies came back from scoping out the land, ten had a negative report and swayed the people to disobey God. Joshua and Caleb had faith in God and wanted to go in right away. Consequently they were the only two of their generation that got to enter the Promised Land. Even Aaron, Miriam and Moses weren’t allowed to enter in. The attitude of the people finally got to Moses and he acted out in anger, displeasing God.
Are we going to go in the spirit of Aaron and Hur, Joshua and Caleb? Or are we going to be the ones that are a burden.
Which ones pleased God?
That’s what I want to do, don’t you?
Father, Help me to be a blessing not a burden. In Jesus Name, Amen.