This site along with its sister site, It's About HIM is undergoing maintenance so some links may not be working. Due to circumstances beyond our control, there are some broken links. Several websites hosting material linked to on this website have either shut down or made changes which have broken the links. We are working to correct this problem. If you have found any links and would like to help by alerting us to which link, you may email me and let me know. I know I haven't found them all yet. Thank you for your patience.

Hello, Beloved...

How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


Must Hear Messages!

Media that has been removed may still be accessed Here

RSS | My Utmost For His Highest

Sermon Index

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Cry of Discontent- What kind of Cry is it?

Num 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

Num 11:2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

I had been studying these Scriptures in Numbers 11, and meditating on why God reacted so angrily to one group of people who complained and murmured, but not to the second group of people who complained and murmured. One group got fiery judgment, one group got help. Both groups were complaining.

In Num 11 the people got in trouble for they complained, and it made God mad. Upon careful, prayerful examination of these Scriptures I began to see they were mourning, feeling sorry for themselves over the hardship of the journey, over the things left behind in Egypt. God was tiring of their murmuring. I looked carefully at the word "displeased" because it applies to the Lord. We need to understand how He feels and why. I want to know. In the Hebrew H7451, in your concordance, this word displeased means of course displeasure, but it also means a displeasure accompanied with pain, and sorrow. It hurt God! Let me tell you, the Lord hears your thoughts, and your words. He knows the feelings and attitudes in your heart that motivate what you say and do. He is always watching, always listening.

Oh, God forgive us for our thoughts and our complaining since you saved us. When trials have come hard and we in our ignorance have not reacted in a spiritual way but in a carnal way, oh God forgive us. I know You allow these things to bring that in us unlike You to the surface so we can see what you already know is there, so we can repent and You can cleanse. But, oh, please forgive us.

Imagine how He felt. He led them out of an awful situation in Egypt. He delivered them totally. He guarded their back when the Egyptians followed them and meant to destroy them and they were at the Red Sea with no way out. He led them every step of the way, feeding them, giving them water, and meat. He supernaturally kept their shoes and clothes from wearing out. They had no map, no Walmart, no McDonald's, no provision but Him and He was all they needed. He heard and He understood why they were complaining. He considered carefully their motives-He didn't just react in a blind rage and send the fire. No. His face looking on them wasn't shining with love at the time, no His face was angry. It was a hot, burning anger.

He sent His fire and consumed those who were complaining,--He sent judgment in the form of fire and consumed those who were on the outskirts of the camp. This is significant. God is just and will not destroy the righteous with the wicked.

That word 'uttermost' in verse 1 means at the end, the border, the outskirts of the camp. They weren't on the inner circle. They weren't close to God, which is why they did not fear to complain. When God's judgment fell, fire began to burn through the outskirts of the camp. Imagine being camped out in a wilderness, and hearing the murmuring of the people and all of a sudden fire falls from heaven and begins to consume them. The people shrieked in terror, and ran to Moses, who immediately began to intercede for them to the Lord and the fire was put out.

Num_11:4 reveals the problem: there was a mixed multitude among them. This is a common problem in the church. This "mixed multitude" means a casual, unrestrained, wanton group of people. They were not Hebrews, but were those who found themselves slaves in Egypt or in hard positions and saw the exodus of the Hebrews as a way out. They are plagued by covetousness, they desired dainty, easy things and places. They resented hardship, they resented Moses' authority, and God's. Their desires conflicted with God's. This mixed multitude was intent on having their own way-they were slaves to self. It couldn't have been long after God's fiery judgment fell, in verse 1, because by verse 4 the mixed multitude, resenting the hardships of the desert, the wilderness, and the traveling, were looking back to Egypt, to the food, and conveniences they had. This had to be those malcontents who slipped away from Egypt with Israel when they left. The Israelites were granted no such luxuries in Egypt. Their life was hard and full of grief. Nearly everything they had was taken from them. Their baby boys were slaughtered. They suffered terribly. I believe God sent the fire and consumed some of the complainers as a warning to His people, and as a purging out of the leaven in the camp. In verse 4, they are complaining again. "Who will give us flesh to eat?" they cry.

God does agree to give them the flesh they cried for until it made them sick. But here's the thing-He was already providing the quail. Back in Exo. 16:13 when He first began to provide the manna, He sent the manna in the morning (which represents the daily Bread of His Word we need from Heaven) and at evening He sent the quail. But here they are again complaining the meat He was sending wasn't enough. It didn't satisfy that deep inner longing, because what they longed for was back in Egypt-and it made them slow and sick. He was feeding them what they needed and many were not satisfied. Some of them were complaining about the manna...and this was angels' food, and they weren't satisfied.

The mixed multitude resented the provision of God, they were not satisfied with what He was feeding them. They had their desire set on things of the world-on Egyptian particular. They liked the things they fed on in Egypt. There are things you can feed on that will slow you down and make you sluggish and overweight. This can be a physical side effect of what you eat. But there are spiritual side effects, as well. If you over indulge in anything, it will slow you down, and make you sleepy. Spiritually sleepy. Physically sleepy. They coveted what they fed on in Egypt bad enough they began to weep and spread their discontent among the people of the camp. On the journey with God, to walk with Him, the things of Egypt are left behind. Stripped away. Some yield to the pruning of God, others don't.

Moses heard the cry of discontent spreading, and God heard and His anger was stirred up again. This time, Moses got mad, too. He cried to God. "Why did you do this to me? Why have you punished me and laid the burden of such an ungrateful and unruly people on me? I thought I'd found favor in Your eyes." More complaining. This time, God reacts differently and I have been puzzling over this, and meditating on this, and in church Saturday night, the Lord revealed to me what the difference was. We've already understood why the first group was complaining. But here, Moses is complaining. There were cries of discontent coming from these people-but for different reasons. The first group was dissatisfied with God's ways, and God's provision. That is key-it is terribly dangerous to despise the provision of God. That's almost reprobate, wouldn't you think? As some are despising His provision, others are gathering it. At night, the people are weeping in their tents, and God and Moses are both displeased. The second group, including Moses was complaining and there was weeping, because things were getting out of order, and there was a genuine desire among some of the people to do things God's way, to follow God not man and man's desires.

Moses was feeling the weight of the responsibility of these people, and he hated their murmuring, and complaining. Remember, Moses had seen God up close and personal, from the burning bush, to the time on the mountain, 80 days in His fiery presence on the mount. God descends in a cloud at the tabernacle and speaks to Moses. He says gather unto Me 70 of the elders of Israel who yu know to be elders of the people and officers over them. Bring them to meet Me at the tabernacle, that they stand with you there. I will come and take of the Spirit which is upon you and put it also on them that you will not bear the burden of this people alone." What does God do? He doesn't send judgment this time. He sees the situation, and He tells Moses to gather 70 elders, those who were spiritually mature, and bring them to the meeting place-the tabernacle where God met with Moses, and present them there. They had to get filled with the Spirit.

Those who complained and began to feed on flesh, He struck them with a very great plague. Those who lusted-who coveted and longed after the things of Egypt were destroyed. God could not allow that to continually remain among His people. It would defile many. These of the mixed multitude continually complained and met with judgment. They had no fear of God, they were determined to have their own way. Isn't that like self? This is a clear warning, when self determines to be in charge rather than God, when people refuse Spiritual leadership and demand flesh instead, it brings judgment to the house of God.

When He put the same spirit Moses had on the 70 elders, they had the same mind, same purpose, same desire to follow God, and they began to prophesy. They began to speak by divine inspiration as a prophet. They didn't stop-they didn't add or do more than God said. They were obedient like Moses. They became like Moses.

Consider what God said about the elders. Those He would put in leadership-notice they were chosen by Moses, who followed God's leadership. Before they could be in leadership, before they could minister to the people, they had to be full of the Spirit of God. In the first church after Pentecost, those who waited on tables and ministered to the widows had to be full of faith and the Holy Ghost. The Apostles said they would give themselves to the Word of God continually and prayer. Other church business is to be handled by those full of faith and the Holy Ghost. This is the pattern laid out by the Word of God. Sadly, you don't see this Biblical pattern in many churches today and that is why they are for the most part ineffective.

You have a people here who were more interested in flesh than spirit. Flesh growls and grumbles. The Spirit does not. Consider when you fast. When your belly is hungry, it growls. But when you neglect to feed that Christ life inside there is a cry...a humble cry, urging you back to prayer and the Word. The humility of God never ceases to astound me.

Oh, God, do it again. Give Your people pastors after Your heart, whose primary purpose in life is to seek Your face, more understanding of Your Word, and sacrificially love and care for Your sheep and Your lambs. Time after time you find the pattern in the Bible. If He is truly in charge of His church, the minister is a Spirit filled, Spirit governed minister then the church produces disciples, missionaries, ministers. It won't be dead, dry and mostly empty. Each will produce after its kind. People will be getting saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, and the Word of God will be taught in purity and holiness. Reverence will fill the Sanctuary. Needs will be met. Christ will be taught crucified and risen again. The Cross will be the message. The Holy Spirit desires to take each of His children to the cross so their self will can be crucified. Oh, God You heard the Macedonian cry, please hear the cry of this heart, do it again, Father. Rise up and scatter the enemies, as Moses prayed. They have made void Thy law for it is not taught as it should be in so many places. No wonder the world mocks and laughs. Rescue Your sheep, Father, and the lambs who have been scattered by ignorant pastors and teachers more hung up on tradition of men than anything else. The Lord is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we could ever think to ask. Look to Him not men. Look to His Word, and His Holy Spirit, for help, direction and leadership. He will not fail us. There is a cry of discontent among God's people. Some may be crying over the hardness of the journey. They have not seen Him yet. To see Him, like Paul-and by see I mean understand, begin to know personally, is to desire Him enough to be willing to endure hardness. Then some are crying in discontent because they know there is more than what they see around them. They have caught enough of a glimpse of Him, been taught by Him, enough to know things around them are out of order and they cry, grieved because He is misrepresented. God will hear the Macedonian cry again and help!

No comments: