Posts Tagged ‘Complain’


Numbers 17:1-2,4-5,7-8,10,12-13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring you twelve wooden staffs, one from each leader of Israel’s ancestral tribes, and inscribe each leader’s name on his staff… Place these staffs in the Tabernacle in front of the Ark containing the tablets of the Covenant, where I meet with you. Buds will sprout on the staff belonging to the man I choose. Then I will finally put an end to the people’s murmuring and complaining against you.”… Moses placed the staffs in the Lord’s presence in the Tabernacle of the Covenant. When he went into the Tabernacle of the Covenant the next day, he found that Aaron’s staff, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds!… And the Lord said to Moses: “Place Aaron’s staff permanently before the Ark of the Covenant to serve as a warning to rebels. This should put an end to their complaints against me and prevent any further deaths.”… Then the people of Israel said to Moses, “Look, we are doomed! We are dead! We are ruined! Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle of the Lord dies. Are we all doomed to die?”

It is hard to understand this God of Moses and Abraham who punishes 14,950 people with death just a chapter ago and now shows grace upon a hard-hearted people. What are we to understand of God’s character from this? (more…)

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Numbers 11:1,5-6,11,16,21-23,33 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp… “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”… And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather before me seventy men who are recognized as elders and leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you… But Moses responded to the Lord, “There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat for a whole month!’ Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!”… But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.

Reading this chapter left me with mixed emotions because in one context, the response of the Israelites seem terrible and in another context, God’s reaction to their complaining seems far worse.

How are we to understand this chapter and apply it into our lives today? (more…)


Exodus 17:3-6,11-13,15-16 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The LORD answered Moses, “Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel… As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword… Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. Thec LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

The traveling Israelites under the leadership of Moses were more than two million in number and this was no small task God undertook. Mob mentality reigned among these people and is today explained well as herd behavior which has been the cause of many problems worldwide.

Steering a few people is a task but taking an entire nation through the wilderness seems like a futile exercise and we can see more evidence of it. The Israelites were getting more hostile towards Moses and God and only God could intervene to change their embittered hearts. What is God speaking to us through this? (more…)


Exodus 5:1-2,8-9,17-18,20-22 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go”… But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words”… But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks”… They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; and they said to them, “The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?

Finally the reluctant obedience of Moses was rewarded with his greatest fear, rejection from the Pharaoh and from the Israelites he came to free!

This is a hard knock on the heads of the Israelites who obediently followed Moses’ lead because they sensed he was sent by God and was there to deliver them to freedom.

Instead of the gift of freedom, they were given hard labour as a reward and had lost favour in the eyes of the Pharaoh and all Egypt. What can God speak to us today through this story of God’s broken promise? (more…)