God likes numbers!! He named a whole book after numbers. He knows how many hairs we have on our heads, He collects our tears in a bottle, He numbers the stars, and the grains of sand on the sea shore. He likes numbers. Well, this book is full of them. But also there are truths that speak out to us; like:
1) Don't Move Without God- Numbers 9:18, 23 tell us that the Israelites only moved when God moved. When the cloud stayed they stayed when it moved, they packed up and moved. Don't move without God, that's the moral of that story!
2) Faulty Memory- When we tend to gripe at God or how things are going in our lives if we are not careful we start having faulty memory about how it used to be. The Israelites had a big case of this in Numbers 11:5-7. They were griping about eating only manna and they said they ate of the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic "freely". How did that word "freely" get into their memory. Did they forget that they were slaves in Egypt? How does a slave eat anything "freely"? The reality is that Satan will give us faulty memory if we do not stay focused on God. Lord, help us to keep our focus today on YOU!!
3) KILL ME!! That's right, Moses prayed that! In Numbers 11:15, he said that if he had to bear the people alone, just kill him. Do you know that most Christians have had thoughts like this? You are not alone! Very few Christians ever do such a thing, but we all have those thoughts at low times in our lives. Don't get discouraged, it will pass.
4) EVERYONE WANTS TO LEAD.... UNTIL YOU ARE THE LEADER!! Moses was the leader and asked God to kill him, but Korah and his crowd (chapter 16) and even Aaron and Miriam (Moses' brother and sister, chapter 12) thought God spoke through them as well as their brother, but .... God heard them!! Moses never killed anyone, but God did!! God had Korah and his crowd taken care of and Miriam was given leprosy for seven days!! God vindicates His leaders. Pastors don't need to defend themselves, they just need to keep doing right and God will take care of those who would cause any trouble. We don't want anyone dealt with severely, but that is God's business to deal with.
5) EVERYONE MUST PLAY BY THE RULES! In Numbers 20:8-12, Moses and Aaron lost their ticket to the promised land. God said speak to the rock and they hit it with the rod. Moses used something God had given him (the rod of God) improperly, and God said, that's it! Moses and Aaron were to use this as an opportunity to exalt God and His goodness, but instead they said in verse 10: "Here now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" Now what does this show us? No matter how much God uses us, and no matter how long God uses us;... we must ALWAYS abide by God's rules, or we too can miss out on His blessings! All of us are expendable if we strive against the Lord.
Well, got to go for today! You see, even in Numbers there are many wonderful truths. See you tomorrow!!
Pastor Mike Mutchler