Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Moses possessed faithfulness and meekness, two characteristics that please God. The Bible says in Numbers 12:3 of Moses, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” Moses walked and communed with God like no other person recorded in the Old Testament scriptures. The words that God used to describe Moses could not be more highly esteemed. “And he said, Hear now my words; If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Numbers 12:6-8)
God, together with Moses, experienced continual complaints from the people. It started over the lack of water, as brought forth in the book of Exodus, and continued throughout the rest of Moses' life. In spite of constant struggles, Moses stayed the course and did not give up. Following the mass departure out of Egypt, Moses and the Hebrew people approached a watering place called Marah, but the water was undrinkable.“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” (Exodus15: 24)
Moses Prayed and God answered
“And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,” (Exodus 15:25)
There was no water when they encamped at Rephidim and the people were once more quick to panic. “Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink, And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou has brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" (Exodus 17:2-3)
“And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me.” (Exodus 17:4)
God’s answer to Moses
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:5-6)
In Numbers eleven God speaks of hearing the continual complaints of the people and becomes angry. A fire breaks out in the camp and the people once again cry out to Moses. Moses prayed and the fire was quenched, but, as indicated in verse ten, Moses heard the people still weeping and complaining. They didn't like the food; they wanted meat to eat. Once more, he and the Lord were displeased. Moses discouraged and so overwhelmed that he wanted to die, prayed to the Lord.
Moses Prayed in Desperation
“And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? And wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the suckling child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? For they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” (Numbers 11:11-15)
God's answer to Moses
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that them may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?” (Numbers 11:16-20)
Moses again prayed
“And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou has said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall the flocks and the heards be slain for them, to suffice them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gatherered together for them, to suffice them?” (Numbers 11:21-22)
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” (Numbers 11:23)
Moses carried out the Lord’s instructions to gather the seventy elders. The Lord appeared in a cloud and caused the spirit that was on Moses to be placed on the seventy elders in order to assist Moses in his work. The Lord also produced a strong wind, which brought quails from the sea that fell upon the camp. The populace consumed meat as God had promised.
Moses was a man who knew how to speak with God. He wasn’t afraid to say how he felt and what the problem was. From these prayers we discover that Moses talked to God like he was a friend.