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Moses Man In The Middle Num.14

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MOSES: PRAYING FOR MERCY

NUM.14

INTRO: (EX: SPURGEON & SHOWING THE STUDENTS THE “HEATING PLANT”) MOSES WAS LITERALLY A “MAN IN THE MIDDLE”—ONCE HE CAME BETWEEN A FELLOW HEBREW & EGYPTIAN TASKMASTER (EX.2:11)---HE HAD TO DECIDE BETWEEN HIS HERITAGE WITH HIS PEOPLE & THE EGYPTIAN LIFE (HEB.11:24-27) & HE STOOD BETWEEN GOD AND THE CHOSEN PEOPLE WHO WERE SO STUBBORN/STIFF-NECKED. HE WAS CALLED TO DELIVER GODS WORD TO PHAROAH—A WORD THAT WAS ALWAYS REJECTED/RESISTED.

BEFORE THEY EVEN LEFT EGYPT ISRAEL REJECTED MOSES’ LEADERSHIP (EX.14:11-13; 16:3;17:2,3)—MOSES CONTINUALLY ASKED GOD FOR HELP/GUIDANCE. HE INTERCEDED AT MT. SINAI FOR GOD TO CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT DESTROYING ISRAEL (32:12,13)—NOW AGAIN MOSES HAS TO INTERCEDE FOR ISRAEL—HE COULDN’T DO THAT WITHOUT A DEEP PRACTICE OF PRAYER.

I.                  ISRAEL’S HOSTILE ATTITUDE (AGAIN)  (V.1-4)

AS WE KNOW BAD NEWS/GOSSIP SPREADS LIKE WILDFIRE & THERE ARE USUALLY MANY WILLING COMMUNICATORS. GOOD NEWS IS HARDER TO GET OUT.  THE ACCOUNT JUST BEFORE THIS TELLS US 12 “SPIES” (LIT. SCOUTS) WERE SENT TO SURVEY  THE LAND (IT TOOK 40 DAYS)—IT APPEARS FROM 13:1 LORD AUTHORIZED THIS—BUT THE HEB. PHRASE MEANS “SEND FOR YOURSELF”—SO MAYBE THE LORD JUST ALLOWED THEM TO DO THIS. WHEN THE SCOUTS RETURNED THEY REFERRED TO THE LAND “WHICH “YOU” (MOSES & AARON) SENT US (13:27). 10 SCOUTS WERE NEGATIVE (PEOPLE TOO STRONG/WE ARE GRASSHOPPERS)—ONLY JOSHUA/CALEB BELIEVED THEY COULD TAKE THE LAND (13:30)---BUT THE PEOPLE BELIEVED THE NEGATIVE REPORT & THEY “CRIED THRU THE NIGHT” (14:1) THEN “ALL” ISRAEL GRUMBLED AGAINST MOSES & AARON (V.2) AND THEN GOD (V.3)—THEY HAD SEEN GODS POWER (PLAGUES/RED SEA/EGYPTIAN ARMY)—BUT THEY WERE USED TO COMPLAINING (11:1-6)—THEY LONGED TO GO BACK TO EGYPT. GOD PLEDGED COVENANT LOVE TO THEM AT MT. SINAI. YET THEY BLASHEMED GOD—THREW ALL GODS GRACE/PROTECTION/PROVISION BACK IN HIS FACE. THEY REFUSED TO GIVE GLORY OR THANKS TO GOD (ROM.1:21). THERE WAS NO REASON TO QUESTION GODS WISDOM AFTER ALL HE HAD DONE. HE ROUTED THE AMALAKITES—HE WOULD DO THAT WITH THE PEOPLE OF CANAAN (WHOSE JUDGEMENT WAS FULL)-BUT ISRAEL WAS FEARFUL & DOUBTED –THEY THOUGHT THEIR “WIVES/CHILDREN WOULD BE TAKEN”—SO THEY REJECTED GODS CHOSEN LEADER—WANTED NEW LEADER TO GO BACK TO EGYPT & SLAVERY. SO ISRAEL’S REBELLION IS WARNING (HEB.6:1-6)

II.               FAITHFUL MESSENGERS (V.5-9)

IN CONTRAST TO ALL ISRAEL ARE THE FAITHFUL FEW. THIS IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE. FOR THAT WE NEED SPIRITUAL ARMOR (EPH.6 & COVER IT IN PRAYER (6:18)—THIS IS ONE OF SATAN’S ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY GODS PEOPLE—HE DELIGHTS IN DIVISION.  MOSES & AARON & JOSHUA & CALEB PLEAD WITH THEM. THEY ARE OVERCOME WITH REMORSE FOR THE UNGRATEFUL ATTITUDE—THEY TORE THEIR CLOTHES AS MOURNERS WOULD. GOD HAD BEEN GENEROUS & THE LAND WAS RICH (V.7)—NOW THEY WERE ABOUT TO LOSE ALL THE BELSSING GOD WAS PERPARED TO GIVE THEM.  BUT ONLY THE SPIRIT CAN TURN HARD/APATHETIC HEARTS INTO GRATEFUL PEOPLE.  LIKE ISRAEL WE MUST CHOOSE—WILL WE PLEASE HIM OR OPPOSE HIM?  THOSE FEW WERE CONVINCED GOD WOULD LEAD THEM (V.8)—CALEB PLEADED “DON’T REBEL AGAINST THE LORD” (V.9)—DON’T FEAR THE PEOPLE---FEAR GOD!  GOD ALONE IS POWERFUL/HOLY—NO OTHER POWER NOR ANY FALSE GODS CAN STAND BEFORE HIM.  CANAAN’S IDOLS WERE USELESS/POWERLESS BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY GOD.  BUT THERE WORDS FELL ON DEAF EARS.  ALL THE ASSEMBLY WANTED TO STONE THEM (V.10)—THEY WERE INDEED A STUBBORN/STIFF-NECKED PEOPLE.  AND WE REMEMBER JESUS WAS REJECTED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE—BY HIS HOMETOWN—EVEN BY HIS OWN FAMILY.  CRHISTIANS STAND AS PRIESTS/WITNESSES BETWEEN GOD & AN UNBELIEVING WORLD (WE LIKE MOSES ARE PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE)—THE CHURCH MUST DO ALL SHE CAN TO PRESENT THE TRUTH—GOD WILL GIVE THE INCREASE.

III.           MOSES INTERCESSION  (V.10-19)

ISRAEL REFUSED TO BELIEVE & GOD WAS READY TO DESTROY THEM (AGAIN!)  THIS IS WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO AFTER THE GOLDEN CALF.  NOW HE WOULD “STRIKE THEM WITH PLAGUE”—THAT REMINDS US OF EGYPT (V.12). GOD WOULD START AGAIN WITH A NEW GROUP UNDER MOSES.  BUT MOSES PLEADED WITH GOD.  NOW GOD KNEW WHAT HE WOULD DO BUT HE WAS INVITING MOSES INTO GODS KINGDOM PLAN.  SO HE INVITES US TO JOIN HIM WHERE HE IS WORKING—TO BRING SPIRITUAL HARVEST—IT WILL TAKE SERIOUS PRAYER.  NOTICE MOSES’APPEAL:

A.   HE IS JEALOUS FOR GODS GLORY/GODS REPUTATION—THE EGYPTIANS WOULD HEAR ABOUT THIS & GLOAT IN ISRAEL’S DEFEAT---KILLED BY THEIR OWN GOD. GOD WAS NOT ABLE TO BRING THEM INTO THE LAND.  INTERCESSORS CRY OUT TO GOD ON BEHALF OF OTHERS BUT WANT GOD TO BE GLORIFIED—GODS HONOR IS SUPREME.

B.   COMMITTED TO GODS WORD—MOSES WANTED GODS POWER TO BE SEEN/EXPERIENCED BY ISRAEL  (THEY HAD SEEN IT MANY TIMES)—BUT MOSES PLEADED FOR PATIENCE & FOR GODS WORD TO BE REMEMBERED.  THIS IS HOW ME MUST PRAY---BRING POWER OF WORD BACK INTO THE HEART/MIND.  AFTER THE GOLDEN CALF GOD WAS MERCIFUL TO THOSE WHO WANTED MERCY (33:19; 34:6)—WE STAND IN THE GAP BETWEEN GOD & OTHERS & APPEAL (CRY OUT) FOR GODS COMPASSION/MERCY

C.   HE RELIED ON GODS LOVE—MOSES REPEATED BACK TO GOD WHAT FROM GOD AT MT. SINAI (V.18,19) (SEE EX.34:6)---MOSES KNEW GOD LOVED THEM—HE PLEDGED THAT LOVE IN COVENANT—BUT HE ALSO KNEW ISRAEL WAS STUBBORN & REFUSED TO OBEY (THOUGH THEY SAID THEY WOULD)—THEY WOULD NOT ENTER THE LAND BY TRUSTING GODS POWER TO DESTROY HIS ENEMIES (AS HE DID IN EGYPT & AMALALKITES).  SO MOSES REVEIWED ALL HE KNEW OF GODS LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE  ( WE CAN DO THAT TOO!)   GOD IS SLOW TO ANGER THOUGH ISRAEL KEPT TRYING HIS PATIENCE (V.22) ---GOD KEPT LOVING THEM—WE ARE GLAD GOD KEEPS LOVING US DESPITE OUR WEAKNESS & UNBELIEF.  GOD LOVE WAS:

1.     PERSISTENT

2.     GENEROUS

3.     RELIABLE

      THE WORD LOVE HERE REFERS TO COVENANT/STEDFAST LOVE.  (JER.31:3)—THIS IS FORGVING/PARDONING LOVE  (V.19).  HIS LOVE FORGIVES (CARRYS AWAY) & IT IS RIGHTEOUS (V.18) (EX. 20:5,6) PRAISE IS GIVEN TO GOD SO HE WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE COMMUNITY  & UNBELIEVERS—ABOVE ALL FALSE GODS.  SIN HAS A TRAGIC/REPRODUCTIVE EFFECT (EFFECTS CAN BE PASSED DOWN SEVERAL GENERATIONS (IN ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST 4 GENERATIONS MIGHT LIVE TOGETHER IN SAME HOME)  TODAY THERE IS BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGE & IT AFFECTS CHILDREN/PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS.  SINS TENTACLES REACH DEEP---BUT GOD LOVE REACHES DEEPER---HE WANTS US TO CALL ON HIM FOR VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY. 

IV.           GODS ANSWER  (V.20-35)

GOD ANSWERED THE PRAYER & FORGAVE BUT THERE WOULD BE SOME TRAGIC EFFECTS

A.   ISRAEL SAW GODS GLORY—ISRAEL SAW GODS POWER IN EGYPT & DESERT—IF THEY COULD HAVE ALL THAT & STILL REBEL THEN THEY WOULD NOT SEE THE LAND THE REFUSED TO ENTER.  THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO DEFIANT SIN (V.23)—DAVID WAS GRANTED FORGIVENESS FOR HIS SIN BUT THERE WERE SOME SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES—HIS FAMILY WAS A MESS—THE EFFECTS LASTED FOR LONG TIME.  GOD GAVE ISRAEL WHAT SHE NEEDED EVEN THOUGH THEY REJECTED HIM—THEY WOULD STILL GET FOOD/WATER/ CLOTHING—BUT THEY WOULD MISS THE BEST BLESSINGS HE WANTED TO GIVE THEM.

B.   ISRAEL GOT WHAT THEY WANTED –THEY WANTED TO DIE IN DESERT (14:2) & SO THEY WOULD (V.28,29). THEIR CHILDREN WOULD NOT BE TAKEN—RATHER THE CHILDREN WOULD BE THE ONES TO CONQUER THE LAND & ENJOY ITS BLESSINGS---THE LAND PARENTS REFUSED TO ENTER.  CALEB & JOSHUA HAD “A DIFFERENT SPIRIT”—THEY FOLLOWED THE LORD WITH ALL THEIR HEART (COMPLETELY) (V.34)—THERE WAS A 40 YR SETBACK (MISSING BLESSINGS) FOR THEIR UNFAITHFULNESS (V.33)---THE 10 SCOUTS WERE INFLUENTIAL LEADERS –THEY WOULD BEAR THE BRUNT OF BLAME—THEY BETRAYED TRUST PUT IN THEM (V.36-38)—THEY WOULD DIE IMIMEDIATELY.

C.   ISRAEL’S PRESUMPTION ON GOD—NOW THE PEOPLE WERE READY TO GO (V.40)---WATCHING SEVERAL LEADERS FALL DEAD WOULD TEND TO CHANGE YOUR MIND—BUT IT WAS TOO LATE---GOD GRACE IS GREAT & HIS PATIENCE IS LONG—BUT THERE IS A LIMIT.  THERE IS A TIME OF JUDGMENT.  EVEN NOW THE PEOPLE WOULD NOT HEED GODS WORD—THOUGH IT WAS MADE CLEAR—MOSES SAID “DON’T GO—LORD IS NOT WITH YOU!”  ITS BEST TO MAKE SURE GOD IS WITH US BEFORE WE START RUNNING INTO BATTLE.  THIS WAS TO BE A DISASTER!  ISRAEL WENT ANYWAY—WITHOUT MOSES/ARK/LORD AND THEY WERE SOUNDLY DEFEATED.    WHEN WOULD THEY LEARN—WHEN WILL WE? 

CONCLUSION:  WILL WE SEEK HIS WILL?  WILL WE ENGAGE THE ENEMY IN PRAYER?  WILL WE BELIEVE THAT OUR GOD IS MIGHT TO SAVE & DELIVER?  (EX: GEORGE MULLER ORPHANAGE---NO FOOD)

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