Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20011107.htm
NUMBERS: ON SPIRITUAL CASUALTIES AND VICTORS
Part X - Missing God's Blessing By Being Leavened With An Unbiblical Influence
Lesson: Because they allowed themselves to be LEAVENED with the ungodly lusts of Egypt by their close association with the "mixed multitude," the nation Israel suffered a tragic loss of life.
- A good attitude, like a good room deodorant, has a wholesome, permeating influence on all in the room.
- However, a bad outlook spawning a bad attitude, like a bad odor, can spoil the experience for all in the room, leading to unrest and a lack of blessing!
- Numbers 11:1-35 offers an invaluable lesson on the need to avoid being leavened by an unbiblical influence due to the great loss of blessing and even tragedy it can yield (as follows):
- Missing God's Blessing By Being Leavened With An Unbiblical Influence, Numbers 11:1-35.
- Israel developed a bad attitude in the wilderness, an attitude leading to complaining that the Lord treated with wrath and judgment unto death for some, Numbers 11:1.
- The people cried out to Moses for deliverance, and he interceded before the Lord for mercy; God responded by ending the death, Numbers 11:2-3.
- We know from the context the CAUSE of this poor attitude was the "mixed multitude" in Israel, a group of people of non-Hebrew Semitic origins and some Egyptians or people of mixed Hebrew and Gentile unions, and were often partly committed to Israel's God and partly committed to Egypt left behind, Numbers 11:4a and McGee, Thru The Bible, v. I, p. 479-480; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Ex. 12:38.
- Well, the influence this "mixed multitude" had on the Israel's attitude led them into tragedy, 11:4b-35:
- The "mixed multitude" craved Egypt's fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic, 11:4a, 5.
- Their craving was verbalized, influencing the whole nation to complain about a lack of meat, 11:4b-5.
- In reality, the manna God had been providing all along was appropriate: (a) it tasted fine for the Ancient Near Eastern palate (Num. 11:7, 8d), (b) it could be prepared in several different ways (11:8b,c) and (c) it was always freshly provided by the Lord (Num. 11:9). (d) Besides, it supplied all the nutrients needed even in the wilderness as evidenced by the nation's health in Deuteronomy 8:4. Thus, this bad, complaining attitude was sheer sinfulness!
- This complaining so taxed Moses that even he complained to God about the burden he found in handling these complaining people, 11:10b-15. Moses even wished to DIE to be rid of leading them!
- Thus, God graciously chose to distribute His Spirit upon the elders around Moses so they could help him graciously lead the nation, Numbers 11:16-17.
- God also promised to provide the meat the people lusted, Num. 11:18-20. He would do so to overwhelm the people with what they lusted to their harm in discipline for their attitude, 11:19-20.
- Moses himself was so affected by the situation he even sinfully doubted God's capacity to provide this promised meat of discipline, cf. Numbers 11:21-23!
- Accordingly, the Lord graciously sent His Spirit upon the elders of Israel so they could help Moses (11:24-30), and that even though some of the elders had a bad attitude and didn't show up for the reception of the Spirit at the appointed time, cf. Num. 11:24, 26-29! The Lord also sent a huge flock of quail, a delicacy of Egypt, into the camp, Num. 11:31. This proved God COULD give them luxuries they hadn't even THOUGHT of COMPLAINING they had lacked to show He was omnipotent!
- As the people so lusted for the quail that they started to eat it without proper cooking, God's wrath burned and slew many of them, Numbers 11:32-33.
- Consequently, the place gained the infamous name of Kibroth-hattaavah, which literally means, "graves of craving," Ibid., Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Numbers 11:34.
Application: (1) We need to watch the COMPANY we keep, as the ATTITUDES and VALUES of that company can eventually influence us in our own attitudes and values with great end results in our walk with God. (2) If we MUST interact with those who are not fully committed to God and Scripture's truths, we must GUARD our minds from ADOPTING their values and attitudes in the process!