Summary: When we are at the point of burnout, we are forced to reconfigure our priorities and re-examine the attitudes that destroy us.

Time to Bail Out?

(Numbers 11:1-17, 24-25)

1. There are people who complain and people who do what needs to be done, even if it involves sacrifice -- sometimes the sacrifice of their own lives.

2. This, being Memorial Day weekend, is a time when we honor not the complainers, but those who laid down their lives for their country -- for us. They sacrificed that we might be free and spread freedom to the nations of the world.

3. I am reminded of the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic:

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:

As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;

[originally …let us die to make men free]

While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

4. Indeed, Christ died for our sins, to make us free indeed. As a result of faith in him, we stand clean before God, having his righteousness, for God sees us in Christ.

5. In Moses' Day, God had also performed a miracle of freedom: delivering the Hebrew people from slavery and Egyptian bondage.

6. But the gratitude of the people was short-lived. Like many modern Christians, they wanted to be over-comers. Like many modern Christians, however, they wanted nothing to overcome.

7. So, when they became bored, afraid, uncomfortable, or felt too restrained, they whined, complained, and blamed Moses for all their woe -- as though he initiated the whole thing.

Complaining can be a legitimate act; some people have trouble asserting themselves. But this was a case of "what is it about 'no' that you don't understand?"

8. Most of us try to avoid complainers and whiners. But I have learned the following about whiners:

1. Whiners run in families (they teach it and it becomes natural)

2. Whiners have no idea how much their whining irritates or deflates others

3. Whiners are reinforced by people pleasers who take their constant complaints too seriously and are gullible for "the under dog." They sometimes play the victim.

4. Whiners do not know they are whiners; they view their constant barrage of complaints as reasonable & they consider themselves more honest than the more considerate.

9. But what do you do when you cannot escape the whiners? When they are your family, or your co-workers, or people you must be around for long periods of time? Moses was in a situation like that,, only worse. Moses wanted out!

10. It is natural to seek more comfortable and accommodating environments, but what do you do when God has put you in an uncomfortable situation and demands you stay put? How do you keep from feeling trapped, despondent, de-motivated?

Dealing with people can be so frustrating that we can be tempted to trash it all even if God has other plans for us. Let's note what Moses went through, and what we can learn.


A. Complaints and FIRE (1-3)

1. The people made GOD angry

2. Moses to the RESCUE

3. His mediator role prefigures JESUS

God has self-control, but this drama unfolds to teach us something about God's nature; He is a God of wrath, so man needs a mediator.

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…" (I Timothy 2:5).

B. Complaints about FOOD (4-10)

1. Wailing for MEAT

2. Looking BACK to Egypt instead of forward to Canaan

• fish

• cucumbers

• melons

• leeks

• onions

• garlic

• nothing but this "manna" now

• I Can sympathize with them!!!

3. Moses heard everyone WAILING (10)

C. Moses BREAKS DOWN Before Yahweh (11-14)

1. Why me? (11)

2. Are these my children? (12)

3. How can I provide? (13)

4. The load is too heavy (14)

5. It is Your fault (15a)

6. Just Kill me and be done with it (15b)

D. God Offers RELIEF to Moses (15-17, 24-25)

1. 70 elders had been wise (Exodus 18:17-27), but now SPIRIT directed


Main Idea: When we are at the point of burnout, we are forced to reconfigure our priorities and re-examine the attitudes that destroy us.

II. What We Can LEARN from Moses' Experience

A. Kill joys are RELENTLESS

1. You cannot escape them; they drain us.

2. They irritate God, too!

3. We must confront or adjust to demanding and discontent people

4. If we ourselves are kill joys, we probably do not know it

B. We must share ministry and TRUST the proven

• Some people are stubborn about delegation

• Probably a result of pride -- it takes humility to ask for help

C. The Holy Spirit can transform us beyond mere EXPLANATION

D. Our responsibility is FAITHFULNESS, not pleasing everyone

➢ A man came to breakfast one morning and told his wife he wanted two eggs -- one fried, one scrambled. With no comment, the long-suffering wife cooked each egg to his specifications and then quietly put the plate in front of him. "Oh no!" he groaned, pushing it away. "You’ve fried the wrong egg." [Sermon Central]

• It can be easier to please God than to please people.

• God was happy with Moses but the people were unhappy with Moses

• People problems are almost always SPIRITUAL problems

E. Ultimately, it is about GOD, not results!

1. God is not a means to an end, his glory is the end!

2. Living to honor and glorify God frees us from the false guilt of trying to meet everyone else's expectations…

Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God And when He had spoken this, He said to him, " Follow Me!" (John 21:19)

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31)

When we are at the point of burnout, we are forced to reconfigure our priorities and re-examine the attitudes that destroy us.

• We need to reduce it down to one thing: pleasing God.

• That is the path of freedom. That's the lesson Moses had to learn. The Hebrew people would never be pleased with him. Only future generations would appreciate him properly.

• Who do you want to please more than anyone?