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Moses: Dealing with Complaints and Building A Team – Exodus 15-18 & Numbers 13-14

Nov 5, 2023
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Dealing with Complaints (Exodus 15-18 & Numbers 13-14)

Just three days after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they begin grumbling. In fairness to the people, they had walked about 40 miles and didn’t know where they were going, but their concern turned to doubting what God could do. They grumbled throughout Moses’ 40 years of leadership. They grumbled when Moses came to save them from Egypt, on the edge of the Red Sea, when they didn’t have water to drink, and when they were hungry. Every time the people complain, we see Moses get on his knees to pray. The people wanted to go back to Egypt where they remembered having plenty of food and water. But we see back in Exodus 2:23 that the people cried out to God to deliver them from Egypt and slavery. Grumbling “romaticizes yesterday”. If we really think about it, the “good ‘ol days” were filled with tough times too. It just gets blurred because of the present troubles of the day. When we grumble, it is against the Lord. Grumbling matters because:

  1. It harms the body of Christ
  2. It devalues the character and goodness of God (Ex 17:11)

In Numbers 14, we see that the people rebel to the point that God said, “I will strike them with pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Moses intercedes for the people and God hears his prayer and spares the people. But the consequence of their grumbling and disbelief was that none of that generation would get to enter into the land that God promised them. It was a dire consequence because grumbling is a sin. TO DO: If you are a leader who is grumbled against, pray for those people to have a soft heart for the Lord and that they would remember His goodness in their life. If you are someone who may be fluent in the language of “grumble”, take time to express gratitude. Remember, we grumble less when we remember more. Questions:

  1. In what situations do you find yourself prone to grumble? Why do you think that is?
  2. If grumbling hurts the body of Christ and devalues God, why do you do it? If we know that it ultimately doesn’t do any good, why do we continue?
  3. Where do you see God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life? Take time to thank Him for His goodness and provision for you.