Numbers 11:4

 

The Bible says in Numbers 11:4-9, “And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?[5] We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:[6] But our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.[7] And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.[8] And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.[9] And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.” The children of Israel broke one of the Ten Commandments that says, “Thou shalt not covet.” To lust is to covet. To lust means to have too strong of a desire for something such that it makes you go over the bounds in your attitude and in your desire to have it. Of course, we all like good food, and there is obviously nothing wrong with enjoying God’s provision. That is why we have a Thanksgiving feast in America. There is much more going on in this passage than the Israelites desire for better food. They were saying that they had it better in Egypt. They were saying that God gave them a bad deal. They were saying that they did not care about going to the Promised land, and they wanted to go back to the world from which they had been delivered. It is true that when you follow the Lord, sometimes you end up with less materially speaking at least for a while. Jesus said in Luke 9:58, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Can you honestly say to the Savior, “I will go where you want me to go dear Lord, I will do what you want me to do.”

 

God supplied the needs of the children of Israel with the manna that fell down from the sky each day. God always supplies our needs, but He does not always give us what we want. Why did God give them manna day after day? One reason was to show them that each day God would take care of them. They did not need to worry about the future. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you

 

It says in verse nine, “And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.” The fact that the manna came down from heaven symbolized hat everything that we have that sustains our life comes from God. Make sure that you recognize that fact in your heart, and make sure that you dedicate everything that you have to His service.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 11:10-15, “Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.[11] And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?[12] Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?[13] Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.[14] I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.[15] And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” Verses ten says, “Then Moses heard the people weep.” These people were emotionally distraught thinking about what they had left behind in Egypt and thinking about this new life that God had led them into that they no longer wanted. They were suffering truly, but they were suffering because of their selfishness. The situation that Moses had as the leader of these people was that he had to deal with all this emotional craziness. He did not like it. God did not like it either. God was angry. But then in verses eleven through fourteen Moses starts complaining to God about these burdens that Moses has to deal with. The people want meat and not manna. And then in verse fifteen Moses asked God to kill him. The situation had become so unpleasant for Moses that he wanted a way out of his responsibilities. Notice what Moses said to God in verse fourteen, “I am not able to bear all this people alone.”

 

Of course, God heard what Moses said, and so the Lord fixed that problem. The Bible says in Numbers 11:16-17, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.[17] And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” And so God picked many men to help Moses. From a human standpoint it was a practical thing to do. A leader needs help. A pastor cannot do everything that needs to be done in a church ministry. A true church has four things: Bible teaching, singing, praying, and Christian fellowship. A pastor needs a lot of help in doing these things. A true church is a brotherhood and sisterhood of believers. Each believer has one or more spiritual gifts to use to serve the Lord Jesus. It is not just the pastor who has the Spirit. Every believer has the Spirit. God said to Moses in verse seventeen, “I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them.” In the New Testament it says in First Corinthians 12:1-7, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.[5] And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.[6] And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.[7] But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal

 

The Bible says in Numbers 11:18-23, “And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.[19] Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;[20] But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?[21] And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.[22] Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?[23] And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” God tells Moses that He is going to give the children of Israel what they wanted: He is going to give them flesh to eat for a whole month instead of manna. And God is going to use this to teach them all a lesson. You had better be careful what you tell the Lord that you want because you might get it. One of the worst things that can happen to you sometimes is to get what you want instead of what God knows what is best.

 

When God tells Moses that God is going to give flesh for the Israelites to eat for an entire month, Moses makes a mistake that is common to anyone who looks at life from a human standpoint instead of a spiritual standpoint. Moses simply said to God, “That cannot happen. There are not enough sheep and not enough fish in the sea.” But Christians are supposed to always think, “With God all things are possible.” And Christians are supposed to always believe God. Once we are aware of one of God’s promises found in His Word, we are supposed to believe that promise and to live by it. God said to Moses in verse twenty-three, “thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” God’s Word always comes to pass.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 11:24-29, “And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.[25] And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.[26] But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.[27] And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.[28] And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.[29] And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!” It says n verse twenty-four, “And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD.” That is exactly what every true preacher should do: tell the people “the words of the LORD.” Do not tell people your ideas. Tell them God’s Word. In order to do that, you must know God’s Word. If you know God’s Word, and if you are gifted and called to teach it, then preaching is not that difficult. You read the Scriptures and you tell the people what it means.

 

It says at the end of verse twenty-five, “when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.” The Spirit of God will give you boldness to be a witness for Christ. The Spirit of God will give you the words to say. On the Day of Pentecost, quoting from the book of Joel, Peter said in Acts 2:17-18, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:[18] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy

 

The lesson to be learned about Eldad and Medad, who were not with the rest of the seventy when they prophesied, is this: if someone is filled with the Spirit and is speaking forth the Word of God, do not condemn them just because they are not a part of your group. Jesus said in John 10:16, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” The Bible also says in Mark 9:38-41, “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.[39] But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.[40] For he that is not against us is on our part.[41] For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” What is interesting in Numbers 11:28 is that Joshua said, “My lord Moses, forbid them.” What this shows is that as a very young man Joshua did not have very good spiritual insight. Eventually, Joshua would take over from Moses and become the leader of the children of Israel, but Joshua had to learn and it would be forty years before he would become the leader. Young men do not usually make good Christian leaders. It takes many years of following Christ and studying the Word of God to be ready. Moses said in Number 11:29, “would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them.” Moses knew how important it was to have men who would preach God’s Word with the power of the Spirit. It is the most important work ever done in the world.

 

___________________________________________________

Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved