"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Monday, March 28, 2022


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Numbers by pastor Chuck Smith

For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video!

INTRODUCTION: How many of you claim Jesus as your Good Shepherd? How many of you declare that Jesus is your LORD? What does this mean on a practical level?
It means that you have surrendered your own will in favor of the LORD’s will, Who will care for you and all your needs as your shepherd Who is ‘the goodest’ of all shepherds. Since He is your LORD, you shall not go without any necessities (PS 23:1). It means that whatever trials, struggles, testing, hardships, suffering that you endure, you are experiencing them because the LORD has ordained them – for our best interest as well as for His glory.

So when we murmur, complain, gripe about anything that’s in our lives, we are aiming such words (spoken or not, intentionally or not!) directly at the throne of GOD!
It's a silent accusation from the heart that says, “GOD isn’t doing a good job taking care of me! He doesn’t love me or care about me, because if He did, I wouldn’t be in this mess!”
Some messes we find ourselves in are of our own making, because of unwise, even dumb choices, so I’m not counting these!

Such accusations against our good, generous, holy, gracious compassionate, tender-hearted Abba Father is extremely offensive to Him, because they deny the truth of these noble attributes of His! Such words should never come from our hearts, out of foul mouths in speech that is sin!

And that’s where we begin our study – the children of Israel are sick and tired of this bland manna and want some spicy meat! In their complaining, GOD fills their mouths with quail, these fowl, hence the title of this teaching, “Fowl Mouth Murmurers”!

NUMBERS 11:1-3
1 Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched. 3 So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the LORD had burned among them

The children of Israel were complaining in a mournful ‘woe is me’ pity party because they weren’t getting what they wanted. And the LORD heard every word of it, and it displeased Him. Have you ever gotten angry where the blood pressure starts to shoot up, you find yourself breathing hard and getting hot under the collar? That’s the idea here.

Where were these complainers located? At the outskirts, the extreme edge of the camp: this speaks to me of those who aren’t passionate about the LORD. Like Peter once did – they follow Him, but afar off. These are those who might take a step or two in the Spirit but fail to really walk in the Spirit – they prefer to walk in the flesh: it’s more comfortable because there is no Cross there to die on.

Such a life for the disciple will be destructive; such a life at the judgment seat of Christ will see their life’s actions and deeds burned to ashes, with no reward from the hand of the LORD.
As we have seen elsewhere, Moses is a type of Christ because as Jesus intercedes for us (ROM 8:34), Moses intercedes for the people and the LORD stopped the fire, representing judgment. Taberah means, “the place of burning”.

NUMBERS 11:4-6
4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat? 5 "We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 "but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!

Note that is says “mixed multitude” – what is this referring to? This group of people “were among them”, the “them”, being the children of Israel. Some scholars refer to this mixed multitude as being Egyptians who believed in the Hebrew GOD, YHWH and who placed the blood of a sacrificed lamb over their own doors so that the angel of death passed over their homes just as he did with Hebrews that did the same.

Others believe that this mixed multitude represents these complainers who were “yielded to intense craving” I don’t see why it couldn’t be both, but I tend to lean more towards this mixed multitude being complainers as opposed to those who weren’t complaining.
Note that the complainers were yielded to their lusts, these intense cravings: How do we safeguard ourselves from falling victim to our own sinful desires?
ROMANS 6:12-18
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness
We can sometimes fondly remember the ‘fun’ that we had in our old life; those things of the world we once enjoyed; and in times when we aren’t allowing GOD to dominate us, but our own sin nature, we can long for those days just as these complaining whiners were longing for Egypt and the food they enjoyed there.

Nothing wrong with that food, but where were they enjoying it? In Egypt! Where the Hebrews DID NOT belong! Neither do we belong to this world anymore; we belong to the LORD.
And there are some who hear the Bible being taught, and they see it like these complainers saw the manna. Same ol’ tired, tasteless manna. Oh, we’re studying the book of Numbers, the Gospel of Mark – heard all that before. Why can’t we ever have something new??
And that craving, that lust – is what promotes false teaching and the false teachers that provide the “garlic, onions and leeks” – false teaching that even the world accepts!
Check out JUDE 1, esp. vs. 4-5
4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
NUMBERS 11:7-15
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color like the color of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil. 9 And when the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. 10 Then Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, everyone at the door of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was greatly aroused; Moses also was displeased. 11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me? 12 "Did I conceive all these people? Did I beget them, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child,' to the land which You swore to their fathers? 13 "Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' 14 "I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. 15 "If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now-if I have found favor in Your sight-and do not let me see my wretchedness!

Moses hears the people weeping – Hebrew: “moaning, groaning, wailing” because of the fact that there was just one thing on the menu?

Let’s remember the theme of this book of NUMBERS:

The central message is “Unbelief will bar any Hebrews entrance to the promised land, and to the abundant life that GOD desires to bless His people with”. See: HEB 3:7-19 for the details.

If you were promised an incredible inheritance from a long, lost Uncle who was leaving you his entire estate of $4 billion, and in order to get there, you had to spend every last cent to your name, and eat nothing but crackers for food on this journey of a few days, would you be complaining?? Not if you truly believed that this inheritance was truly yours! Once you arrived and received the promised inheritance, it would be steak and lobster all the way!

What does this tell us about these complainers? Did they really believe that they were going to inherit the land that the GOD of Truth promised them – “a land flowing with milk and honey”!?
I feel badly for Moses: He didn’t ask for this job, but he’s stuck with it – and he has to hear these whiners day in and day out. His soul is vexed to the point where he says to GOD, “Just kill me now! Put me out of my misery!” He has no idea where he’s going to come up with enough meat to feed millions of people out in the desert! Even here, we see a lapse of faith on ol’ Mo’s part. But GOD in His mercy makes provision for His prophet:

NUMBERS 11:16-18
16 So the LORD said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 "Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone

EXODUS 18:13-23 – previously we saw Jethro’s counsel to Moses to share the load of judging Israel with godly men: vs. 21 "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…”

And from among these numbers, Moses selects seventy elders to help shoulder the administrative burden in dealing with the needs of the people, so that he will no longer bear the burden alone.

It’s the same with the church; we are the body of Christ, and we all have our share of the burden to carry – but it’s a “light burden” according to MATT 11:28-30; and with this burden, we receive the blessing of learning all about JESUS, His gentle, humble, and loving heart!

NUMBERS 11:18-20
18 "Then you shall say to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, "Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt." Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 'You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 'but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?

It was well with us in Egypt!? Are you kidding me?! They were slaves! Their taskmasters were brutal! Pharaoh was intent on killing off all the male babies!

How often when we are unappreciative of all that the LORD has done for us; when we forget about how He has saved us, that we begin to remember the so-called good stuff of the old life, but forget about all the bad??

You can tell that GOD is grieved, terribly upset with these people because as He says here: “Fine! I’ve heard enough of your complaining! You want meat to eat! You got it coming, and I’m going to stuff you silly with it until it comes out of your noses!”
And why? “because [they] have despised the LORD Who is among [them]” and in their blasphemous ingratitude asked the question: "Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?"

NUMBERS 11:21-24
21 And Moses said, "The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot; yet You have said, 'I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.' 22 "Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?" 23 And the LORD said to Moses, "Has the LORD'S arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not

Moses’ lapse of faith continues out of weariness in dealing with these people but notice that the LORD doesn’t rebuke him for it.

The LORD knows Moses’ heart – that he has the fear of the LORD and a desire to follow Him, but he’s come to the end of his strength which has turned to dust. The LORD has pity for such as we, who in a moment of weakness, falter in our walk:
PSALM 103:13-14
13 As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust
NUMBERS 11:24-30
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD, and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. 26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad (I wonder if anyone ever asked Medad, “Which one of your parents gave you that name? But we know his answer: “Me Dad”!). And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, "Moses my lord, forbid them!" 29 Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the LORD'S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!" 30 And Moses returned to the camp, both he and the elders of Israel

This reminds me of what the apostle John reported to the LORD Jesus:
38 Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us. 39 But Jesus said, Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me (MARK 9:38-39).

The LORD isn’t into exclusive classes where relationship is concerned. There aren’t ‘A’ Christians and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Christians – and as I said before, I know who GOD’s favorites are: all of His children! We are all on equal footing and we may all have as deeply intimate and powerful relationship with the LORD as we want. Question is, Do we want it? Do we really want it? It’s available (See GAL 3:28; COL 3:11; HEB 4:16).

NUMBERS 11:31-35
31 ¶ Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day's journey on this side and about a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. 32 And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. 34 So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving. 35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people moved to Hazeroth and camped at Hazeroth

How much is 10 homers worth of quail? Just under 500 pounds! Now I personally believe that the LORD, out of the goodness of His heart was going to provide meat for His people; and those of His people who didn’t murmur were provided meat, but those that did, received the meat alright, and were struck dead before they even had a chance to chew it!
Instead of being joyous and content in believing GOD and accepting His promises and the provision in the desert:

The shade of GOD’s cloud by day, the light and warmth of His pillar of fire by night; the feet of the Hebrews didn’t swell even though they marched through the wilderness for 40 years (even though it was only an 11 day journey!), their shoes and clothing didn’t wear away after four decades, and this manna provided daily, six days a week, which was nutritious and sustaining.
Instead, they didn’t acknowledge these things, neither were they thankful (a trait that is common among the rebellious unbelievers – ROM 1:21 but should never be a trait of GOD’s saints!).

What can we take away from all of this?

To express faith in our faithful Creator, to believe our GOD Who is Himself Truth, and to be grateful for trials and tribulations just as much as we are for GOD’s blessings and provisions.
A thankful, worshipful heart is a sure cure to protect us from being a fowl mouthed murmurer!

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