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Summary: Lessons from the life of Balaam

“Follow the Leader”

Numbers 11 - 16

Intro: Everyone lift you feet up in the air off of the floor. Okay, I may step on some toes this morning, so if you keep you feet up in the air, I won’t step o your toes!

#Illust: Man went to monastery - only 2 words a year - 1st yr “Beds Hard,” 2nd yr - Food Cold, 3ry yr - I Quit - to which the Father replied, well it’s no wonder--all you’ve done since you came here was to complain.

As we have been reading through the books of Leviticus and Numbers, we are reminded just how much like the children of Israel we are. We have seen this week in our reading that they were a people who loved to complain. Now, I’m sure that you don’t know anyone like this, but there are some people out there who like to complain. Once again, I’m sure it’s nobody you know. On the job, people complain about their bosses, their hours, their pay, their bonuses, their benefits. People who stand in the road holding up signs while others do the work complain that the sun is hot.

In regions of Mexico hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry, boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs. A tourist watching this procedure once commented to his Mexican guide, “They must think God is generous to provide so much free hot and could water!” The guide replied, “No, s˜enor, there is much grumbling because he does not supply the soap!”

The children of Israel are no different: they grumble constantly. Let’s look at their grumbling and learn from their example. In 1 Cor. 9:10 we are reminded of the seriousness of their grumbling. The chapter starts with the account of their grumbling, then states, “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did-- and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did--and were killed by the destroying angel.

Let’s look at

I. The accounts of complaining - if you have your Bibles, look at Numbers 11. In verses 1-3 we see the first account. Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.

A. *the people complain because of hardships - do you know of anyone who grumbles when things get hard? The Israelites did. They didn’t like walking through the wilderness. They would have rather taken the plane with the dinner and movie.

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