Wednesday, March 3, 2010

God on Your Side

Here is both an encouraging story, and a troubling story.

Encouraging, because if we follow God and let Him do His work in our lives we can rest in the confidence that nothing that happens to us is outside His will, His plan, His purpose for our lives.

Troubling because - well, read the story!

1 "While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. 2 They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. 3 (Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.)


4 So immediately the Lord called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle,[e] all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. 5 Then the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[f] “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say:

“If there were prophets among you,
I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions.
I would speak to them in dreams.
7 But not with my servant Moses.
Of all my house, he is the one I trust.
8 I speak to him face to face,
clearly, and not in riddles!
He sees the Lord as he is.
So why were you not afraid
to criticize my servant Moses?”

9 The Lord was very angry with them, and he departed. 10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy.[g] When Aaron saw what had happened to her, 11 he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.”

13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!”

14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.”

15 So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again. 16 Then they left Hazeroth and camped in the wilderness of Paran."

God don't like criticism!
Lift up, and support your God appointed leaders, don't criticise them and make their load heavier!

Why was only Miriam struck with leprosy?
I copied a possible answer:

by Kerika

"It might have been because she was the instigator.

Aaron’s right attitude was shown by his confession and plea in behalf of leprous Miriam. (Numbers 12:10-13)

If we as women are given priviledges of service, thinking about the account about Miriam will help us to not let it go to our head. The case of Miriam is worthy of note. Although she is spoken of as a prophetess, sent by Jehovah, apparently this privilege went to her head at one point. She failed to recognize the authority Jehovah had given her younger brother Moses to lead Israel, and she was punished for it.

Also, it teaches us to show respect for Jehovah's appointed representatives.

What it teaches me about Jehovah, is that He corrects to the proper degree as brought out in Jeremiah 30:11 and Isaiah 28:24-29.

As the type of grain determines what implements will be used for threshing, so God’s treatment of persons varied according to what was best for them in bringing about their cleansing.

So, that explains the difference in Miriam and Aaron's punishment, even though they both sinned."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

God gives MEAT! (and HEAT!)

The people are complaining.

They want meat to eat. There are three million people in a desert place. No grass. No meat to eat.

God says, "They want meat! I'll give them meat!"

Moses says, "Huh?"

God says "YEAH! - But it won't be pretty!"


18 “And say to the people, ‘Purify yourselves, for tomorrow you will have meat to eat. You were whining, and the Lord heard you when you cried, “Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. 19 And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. 20 You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”


21 But Moses responded to the Lord, “There are 600,000 foot soldiers here with me, and yet you say, ‘I will give them meat for a whole month!’ 22 Even if we butchered all our flocks and herds, would that satisfy them? Even if we caught all the fish in the sea, would that be enough?”

23 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Has my arm lost its power? Now you will see whether or not my word comes true!”

24 So Moses went out and reported the Lord’s words to the people. He gathered the seventy elders and stationed them around the Tabernacle.[b] 25 And the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Then he gave the seventy elders the same Spirit that was upon Moses. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But this never happened again.

26 Two men, Eldad and Medad, had stayed behind in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but they had not gone out to the Tabernacle. Yet the Spirit rested upon them as well, so they prophesied there in the camp. 27 A young man ran and reported to Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp!”

28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ assistant since his youth, protested, “Moses, my master, make them stop!”

29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them all!” 30 Then Moses returned to the camp with the elders of Israel.

31 Now the Lord sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground.[c] 32 So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels! They spread the quail all around the camp to dry. 33 But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. 34 So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (which means “graves of gluttony”) because there they buried the people who had craved meat from Egypt. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the Israelites traveled to Hazeroth, where they stayed for some time."

Meat to eat.
With God's heat.

Lesson learned?
God's goodness spurned!

Be happy with the provision God is giving you right now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are you a whiner?

If you have ever raised a child you have dealt with it.

Whining.

It can drive you crazy. It is tiresome, draining and debilitating.

Problem is, adults do it too. And it isn't new. The Israelites whined in the desert. Their life was hard. It was hot. Water was scarse. They moved from here to there with little clear purpose.

Numbers 11:1 "Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped. 3 After that, the area was known as Taberah (which means “the place of burning”), because fire from the Lord had burned among them there.

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. 5 “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

7 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin. 8 The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. 9 The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

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. 11 And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? 12 Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? 13 Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! 15 If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”

Their whining had the same effect on Moses as your 3 year old has on you. Tiresome, draining and debilitating.

Moses, this truly great leader, was discouraged. Tired. He asked God to kill him, rather than to endure the life sucking effect of whining.

Are you a whiner?

Do you whine to your spouse? At work? To your kids? To your friends? To God?

If you do, know that it is tiresome, draining and debilitating to those around you.

Oh, and how much does GOD like it?

Read the next blog to see!