The people complained in the hearing of the Lord’(1) - Remember: All our words are spoken ‘in the hearing of the Lord’! There was ‘a rabble among them’(4): What problems there are when such people are mingling with God’s people! What are we to do when this happens? - Pray for God’s help (10-15). God will not disappoint us - He gives people who will ‘take their stand with us’(16), the Spirit who rests on God’s people (25), the Word, ‘strong meat’ to sustain our spiritual strength (31-32; Hebrews 5:12-14). The lure of the world, the pull of the flesh- ‘the rabble’ wanted to go back to ‘Egypt’(4-6): This is the attack of the devil. Standing in Christ’s strength alone, we ‘resist the devil’. Defeated by Christ, Satan can do nothing but ‘flee from us’(Philippians 4:13; James 4:7; 1 John 3:8).
Miriam and Aaron complained (12:1-2). Caleb and Joshua encouraged (30; 14:6-9). Thank God for encouragers! How did Moses react to criticism? He ‘was very meek’(3). He was like Jesus - ‘When He was reviled, He did not revile again’(1 Peter 2:23). Moses - ‘a servant’- was ‘entrusted with all God’s House’: We look beyond Moses to Christ who is ‘faithful over God’s House as the Son’(12:7; Hebrews 3:5-6). In times of difficulty, we draw our strength from Him. Where there is the encouragement of faith, the discouraging voice of unbelief is not far behind it. Unbelief sees nothing but problems - ‘We are not able...’(30-31). ‘Not able’ or ‘well able’? The choice is yours. Choose faith. There must be no place for unbelief.
‘All the congregation raised a loud cry...’, ‘all the people of Israel murmured...’, ‘all the congregation said to stone them...’(1-2,10). Was there any ‘light at the end of the tunnel’? Yes! - ‘The Lord... will bring us into this land’(8). With the promise, there was also the warning: ‘Do not rebel against the Lord’(9). Though angry, God remained patient: ‘How long will this people despise Me? How long will they not believe in Me?’(11). He was waiting patiently for a change of heart. Moses prayed for mercy without presuming on it: ‘He will by no means clear the guilty’(18-19). God announces His pardon (20). Nevertheless, there may be times when God says, ‘Enough is enough - It’s time for a new beginning’: Only Caleb, Joshua and the ‘little ones’ would enter the land (30-31): No one else! Not even Moses!