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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Numbers 11:4

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A. When the children of Israel came out of Egypt we read in Exodus that there came with them a mixed multitude.
1. They were children of mixed parentage.
2. Part Egyptian and part Hebrew.
3. In Leviticus 24:10, we read of a young man whose mother was an Israelite and his father was Egyptian.
4. They might have been known as half-breeds.
B. It seems that in the church today, we have those who are totally sold out to God, then we also have a mixed multitude.
1. One foot on the row boat, and one foot on the dock; part of their trust in Jesus, and part in their Wallstreet stock.
2. They are with us, but not fully so.
3. People with a love for the Lord, and a love for the world.
4. They find themselves drawn toward the things of the Lord, but also drawn by the things of the world.
A. They actually began to long for the things of Egypt, the onions, leeks, and garlic, the cucumbers, and melons.
1. It seems that they had forgotten the horrible misery they had experienced as slaves in Egypt.
2. They forgot the many tears that were shed because of the severe oppression.
3. They began to whine and cry against Moses and against God.
4. It is amazing how a few disgruntled people can soon have the whole congregation upset, and longing for the wrong things.
5. It seems that we always have a few of the mixed multitude in our high school wanting us to have school dances.
6. There is a desire to be like the world, or to have the things of the world.
7. Many times their parents are helping push their requests.
8. It is interesting how we never seem to have those same parents seeking for a prayer meeting to pray for our young people that they might receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to stand against the temptations of the world.
B. Peter got into real trouble when he sought to find warmth at the enemy's fire.
1. If you are seeking warmth at the enemy's fire, you also will soon find yourself denying your Lord.
2. Paul warned the church in Corinth about the leaven in the church. He said that all it takes is a little leaven to leaven the whole lump.
C. Now is not the time to be looking back at Egypt.
1. We should not be seeking to discover just how close we can live to the world and still maintain our walk with the Lord. We need to see how close we can live to the Lord.
2. The way things are shaping up in Israel, we could very well be seeing the beginning of the end.
3. I like Philip's translation of I Corinthians 7:29: "All our futures are so foreshortened, indeed, that those who have wives should live, so to speak, as though they had none! There is no time to indulge in sorrow, no time for enjoying our joys. Those who buy have no time to enjoy their possessions, and indeed, every contact with the world must be as light as possible. For the present scheme of things is rapidly passing away."
4. It is really time to readjust our priorities and live for the things that will count for eternity.
D. The plight of Moses.
1. As he walked through the camp, he heard the people crying in their tents.
2. Moses became angry and said to God: "Why do you hate me? What did I do to deserve this? I did not conceive all of these people, why would you ask me to carry them as a father carries his small child to the land that you promised? Where can I get meat to feed all of them? For they are crying unto me saying, give us meat to eat. God I can't handle this, it is too much for me. If this is the best you can do for me, just kill me."
3. Moses was experiencing the frustration that leaders often experience when people are complaining against the provisions and the goodness of God.
4. God told Moses to tell the people that He would provide meat for them. Not for just a day or two but for a whole month's supply they would eat until it came out of their nostrils and it became loathsome to them. Because they were weeping before God and saying, "Why did we ever come out of Egypt?"
5. Moses was confused on just how God would manage to do that.
a. He wanted to know if God wanted him to kill all of the flocks and herds that they had brought out of Egypt.
b. God answered him, "Is the Lord's hand waxed short?"
c. Moses was staggering at the promise of God because he was trying to figure out how God was going to keep His promise.
d. It is not ours to figure out how God is going to keep His promise, it is only ours to rejoice in the promise.
e. God told Moses that He would bring them quail. They would come flying in about 36 inches above the ground by the thousands.
f. Someone has suggested that this is where the game of baseball was invented, for we read in verse 32:
NUM 11:32 And the people stood up all that day, and all [that] night, and all the next day, batting quail: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread [them] all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
g. A homer is ten bushels, so the ones that gathered the least gathered 100 bushels.
h. This was a sickening display of greed and unbridled lust.
6. It is here that we read:
NUM 11:33 And while the flesh [was] yet between their teeth, before they could even chew it, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
a. Watching people given over to unbridled lust has to be one of the most repulsive scenes. Stuffing this quail meat into their mouths to gratify their lust for meat.
b. God was sickened by it and sent a great plague among them.
c. This is what the psalmist was referring to in the psalm that we read this morning when he declared:
PSA 106:14 They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.
7. This seems to be the case so many times, where God will give a person their request but it brings leanness to their soul.
a. The scripture exhorts us to set our affections on things above, and not on things of the earth. Col. 3:2.
b. King David was guilty of many horrible sins, even of lust and murder, yet God called him a man after God's own heart. How so? Because he sought after the heart of God.
PSA 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
PSA 42:1 As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God.
PSA 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when I shall come and appear before God.
8. Back to the story, it was here in the wilderness that they buried those people who were killed by the plague, and they called the place Kibroth-hattaavah: which means the graves of lust.
9. There are many people today who are being destroyed by their lusts.
a. I think of how many families have been destroyed by lust.
b. I think of how many people are being destroyed by drugs.
c. How many lives are being destroyed by alcohol.
d. What a horrible place to be buried, in a grave of lust.

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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