Moses intercedes for the people

A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axles groaned and creaked terribly, when the oxen turned around and spoke to the wheels, “Hey there, why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we-not you-ought to cry out!” Those … More


The Jews had a long record of complaining against the Lord and their leaders. Their murmuring began on the night of the Exodus when they were sure Pharaoh’s Army was going to kill them (Ex. 14:10-14). As Israel entered the wilderness of Shur, they complained because they didn’t have water to drink (Ex. 15:22-27), and then they murmured because they missed the special meals they had back in Egypt (Ex. 16). At Rephidim, the people were ready to stone Moses because they had no water (Ex. 17:1-7), and at Taberah some of the people complained and were killed by fire (Num. 11:1-3). Because of all of this Moses became so discouraged he wanted to die (Num. 11:11-15).

More than once, Israel in her pride tempted God in the wilderness and He had to punish them (Deut. 6:16). But like a stubborn child, the Jews didn’t seem to learn their lesson. Instead of pleasing the Lord who had done so much for them, they provoked Him to anger and sort of dared Him to act. When God was about to pronounce judgment Moses reasoned with God not to destroy them:

  1. He argued first of all that His glory would be tarnished if Israel were destroyed (vv. 13-15).
  2. His second argument was based on the covenant God had made with the patriarchs years before (that He would give them the land} (v. 16).
  3. His third argument pointed to the character of God and quoted what God Himself had declared to him on Mount Sinai (vv. 17,18).
  4. His final argument was the fact that the Lord had forgiven His people many times before (v. 19).


By my complaining I am saying that I know more than God does about what is best for me. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Phil. 2:14).

Numbers 14:11-25 (English Standard Version)

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