Jesus in Numbers: Conquering Negativity
The big idea in Numbers is when we are distracted from worship we are prone to complain.
Remember God’s redeeming plan was initiated in Genesis. In Exodus, God brought the Israelites out to establish them in the Word and in Worship. In Leviticus, the priesthood is established very specifically to position worship correctly and appropriately.
Now in Numbers God is taking the Israelites on to greater places of maturity dealing with something many Christians seem to never conquer.
In the first several chapters of Numbers we see a lot of numerical data: statistics, population counts, tribal and priestly figures. It follows the Israelites through almost forty years of wandering in the desert.
Num 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships… NIV
Num 11:4 Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. "Oh, for some meat!" they exclaimed. NLT
God didn’t bring us out to get you out. He brought us to take us in to greater places of promise!
Numbers is about a process of maturity and preparation for the promise. We see the first & foremost issue in maturing God’s people here in Numbers.
Num 11:10 Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the LORD became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated. NLT
Num 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses…NIV
Mature people promote order. Here is a little advice about people who post angry rants on social media, AVOID THEM! Prov 22:24 clearly tells us to avoid these kinds of people. Avoid them according to Prov 22:24!
Numbers is the very well known portion of Scripture about the 12 spies checking out the land. 10 came back with negative reports speaking against God’s direction. Caleb’s response wasn’t to coddle them or to enable them. He corrected them!
Num 13:30 Then Caleb silenced the people… NIV
There are some people who complain so much their blood type is probably B negative!
Don’t be confused, this is a habit! Some people are such habitual whiners they can’t even enjoy life. If they get stuck in traffic it ruins their whole day. If they can’t find their car keys it's the end of world.
If you whine about things enough it just becomes natural to over-react making things bigger than they really are. There are enough big issues in life to deal with without making a big deal out of little things.
Stop being negative! Complaining and constantly being negative is submission to discouragement as your conquering king. You were born for more than that!
Num 14:1 At this, the entire assembly complained, started to shout, and cried through the rest of that night. ISV
Num 14:10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them… NIV
Num 14:27 How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. NIV
Num 16:1-2 Korah…became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men… NIV
People don’t have whining problem they have worship problem. God had established these people in worship but they were neglecting being thankful and worshipful to God as they grew toxic in their attitudes.
Num 20:2-3 Since the community was without water…the people complained… GWT
Num 21:4-6 But the people … spoke against God and against Moses…Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them and many Israelites died. NIV
Numbers 21:8-9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Jesus is revealed in the serpent. Bronze speaks of judgment. As we saw last week Jesus didn’t merely die for our sins. Jesus became our sins. This is why he’s the lamb in Exodus, the goat in Leviticus and the bronze serpent in Numbers.
He was raised up on that cross as our sin and when we look to him we find life.
GP4RL: Every day turn the page. Post something thankful to God for every day.