Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law.
The dried up soul of those who lusted.
Num 11:1, Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
Some of the outskirts of the camp refer to those who were distant from Moses and the children of Israel. In every gathering together of the people of God, there are always those who are present but not with you. These are the ones that are with us but not really of us.
The apostle John described them in 1Jo 2:19 when he said, They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.
And then he made an interesting statement concerning those who are of us and that is the fact the it is only a matter of time when God’s people become aware of them when he said in the very next verse;
1Jo 2:20, But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
Meaning that those of us who have the anointing of the Spirit will have the discernment to recognize who is with us and who is not. In fact, our Lord the disciples this principle when He said in Mar 9:40, “For he who is not against us is for us.”
Just because we may not know who they are or we may not have fellowship with them that does not mean that they are against us. It may mean they are simply fulfilling God’s calling for their life and in doing so they don’t judge us but allow us to fulfill what God’s plan is for us.
Though we don’t know them, like us, they pray for the church or the body of Christ of which we are a part of. And I want you to notice our Lord also put in another way. In Mar 9:40, “For he who is not against us is for us.”
Then in Mat 12:30, He put it like this; “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
So first He says Mar 9:40, “He who is not against us is for us.” Then He says, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
So, He says if they are not against us they are for us, however, if you are not with us, then you scatter and not gather. It’s a very interesting scenario
So again in Num 11:1-4, the Lord is about to separate those who were not with Him. Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died out. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. And the rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat?
The word rabble actually means, the crowd, the mob, or the lowlife, and notice it says the rabble who were among them had greedy desires. Some scholars say that it is a reference to gentiles who joined the people of Israel when they left Egypt.
Notice it says that they had greedy desires which refers to lustful desires. Apparently the “greedy desires” started with the mixed multitude and it spread very quickly to the Jews, so much so that they began to cry for meat.
Now, the last thing that the children of Israel needed was to be around the wrong kind of people. This is also true about all of us. They had enough problems with their own ability to handle the situation, and so the last thing they needed was to be around others who were negative as well.
Negativity has a snowball effect. It’s when people are implacable and always complain. We read in Job 7:11 that people who are bitter love to complain, Job said, “Therefore, I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”
Complaining therefore is the outward effects of an inward sin. In fact, Lam 3:39 teaches that complaining is an indictment against God and His plan for our life, Lam 3:39, Why should any living mortal, or any man, Offer complaint in view of his sins?
Think about it, what right do any of us have to complain? This is why Num 11:1 says what it does; Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
Note that when the people complained it displeased the Lord. You wouldn’t want to do that, would you? In the KJV we read in Psa 77:3, I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
The Hebrew word for overwhelmed is “ataph” and it means clothed with depression. So complaining makes people depressed and weak and also the word means it causes them to be failures in life. In fact, look at Jude 1:16,
These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. Notice, just like the rabble in Num 11, complainers walk after their own lusts, and their mouth speaks great swelling words, complimenting people for the sake of personal gain.
Complainers usually complain because they’re lust has not been fed.
Psa144:14-15 tells us that happiness belongs to those who don’t complain.
(KJV) Psa 144:14-15, My our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
Complainers are no fun to be around they live in self-pity and self-induced misery.
(KJV)- 1Sa 1:16, Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
The Hebrew says that Hannah said “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman; for I have spoken out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken under my breath. Here complaining causes women to speak the wrong way and the wrong things. Same is true about the male species.
Psa 55:2, Give heed to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,
Sleep and tiredness is the only escape for the complainer. In fact, Job said in Job 7:13, “If I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, My couch will ease my complaint,’”
Then in JOB 7:14, Job even complained about that when he said, Then Thou dost frighten me with dreams And terrify me by visions;
Always remember Phi 2:14. So back in Num 11. Let’s read the passage.
Num 11:1-10, Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died out. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. And the rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil. And when the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it. Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased.
So, we now note the principle of retrospective lust. First of all, what do I mean by retrospective? Retrospective means looking back on or dealing with past events or situations. This means that if you’re dissatisfied about your present situation you always lust for something that you had in the past. The past always looks good to dissatisfied people, —- whether it was or not, is not the point.
Memory has a way of filtering out the bad things about the past and cause to think that things were not really like they seem. So, you look back and talk about the good old days and you forget all about the bad things…and that is because you’re dissatisfied with the present.
They forgot the field mice, the rays, the cats, the dogs, the lice, the maggots etc. How soon we forget!
Num 11:6, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
Angels food from heaven —- good enough for the angels but apparently not good enough for the Jews.
How soon we forget. That’s why I have always loved Psa 103 which is a Psalm of David.
PSA 103:1-14, (A Psalm of David.) Bless (give honor and praise) to the Lord, with all your soul; And all that is within you, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; or His fantastic marvelous blessings. Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; and He will especially in the eternal state. Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The Lord performs righteous deeds, And judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us; Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
That’s what we should remember. However, notice what the rabble and Jews remembered in NUM 11:5, “We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt,
Notice what they said about this food, they said it was free! And who said this? The Jewish slaves who worked for free! Notice the irrationality! It simply doesn’t make sense!
Now, in Num 11:6, the say, but now our appetite is gone.
Now, there is more to this in the original Hebrew. As noted recently, the word for appetite is nephesh which also means soul, and this is a perfect description of these negative individuals, there is soul is gone or dried up.
Num 11:6, But now our appetite or our soul is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.
Isn’t it something how the Lord puts us in certain situations where there is nothing to look at except manna, or His food from Heaven (BD). What a statement.
Can you imagine saying there is nothing else to look at that is coming down from heaven except this manna? I mean we get excited when we see a falling star, they had food dropping down from heaven six days a week.
They had quails given to them from God.
They had water coming out of a Rock.
They had bitter waters turn sweet.
They saw the Red Sea parting.
They saw water turn into blood.
They saw a plague of millions of frogs.
They saw biting insects and wild animals.
They saw livestock disease and boils.
They saw fiery hail.
They saw the plague of locusts.
They saw complete darkness cover the land.
They saw the first-born of the Egyptians die.
Every day when they walked out of their tents, they stumbled over the manna, but they didn’t appreciate it at all.