Summary: Thanksgiving or just a sermon on being grateful. Deals with the complaining of the Children of Israel and applys to troublemakers in the Church.
?DON?T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU, INSTEAD BITE YOUR TONGUE,? NUM 11:18-20
JOKE---Two guys are walking through a field when they spot a full grown bull as big as a pickup truck. They freeze as the bull turned his head and scraped his front hoof on the ground to acknowledge he was about to charge. They both took off running just as fast as they could. The 2 ton bull did the same. They could feel his hot snorting breath breathing down their necks when the first guy yelled to the second: ?John, this bull is gonna git us fer sure! You better say a prayer fer us!? John replied, ?But I don?t know any prayers to offer!? Stan says, ?John after all them prayers yo mama? makes you pray at the house, you can?t think of one!? ?Listen, any old prayer will do, we are about to become toast!? So with the bull running straight at him, John prayed the only prayer he knew, ?Lord for what we are about to receive, let us be truly thankful.?
INTRO---On Thanksgiving we all take turns passing the bowls filled to the rim with good food! What is interesting is that before Grace is said, it is polite and even desired to put your hand across someone else?s plate in order to pass the food. But once the bowls are all passed and Grace is said, something happens? The zone between your elbows and from your shirt-stuffed napkin to the Gravy boat in front of you becomes off limits. In fact after Grace if you foolishly put your hand in front of someone?s mouth or plate, you will draw back a nub.
TRANS---As we open our text this morning, we see just 3 days have passed since God gave the Children of Israel his Covenant Law are on their way to the Promised Land and it has just been 3 days since they had left Mt Sinai. They have Moses as their leader and God as their Provider and Guide. In spite of all the things going right for the Children of Israel they still found something to complain about. And that is just how it is sometime, it does not matter how much God blesses someone they still find fault. Why is that? There are 3 pieces of advice in our Scripture this morning.
I. DON?T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
A. Look at v. 4---There is at least one troublemaker in every congregation.
1. My Bible calls them ?The Rabblers.? The KJV calls them the "mixed multitude" but the Hebrew word here clearly indicates these people were a group of outsiders who were stirring up trouble.
a. Who were these outsiders? In Exodus 29 we learn that there were many non-Israelites who decided to leave Egypt with them.
b. How did they manage to stir up trouble?
2. Look at v. 9---How effortless! Every morning God literally showered His children with Heavenly food.
a. But in v. 6 we see these ungrateful troublemakers were filled with sinful desires for foods other than what God provided.
b. Here their ingratitude reaches its peak with an insulting reference to the manna which was the undeserved gift of God.
3. The worst thing about v. 6 is that the inclusion of the word "eyes" to the complaining words of the Israelites implies that they were looking right at the free gift of God lying on the ground as they complained.
ILLUSTRATION---That is like you inviting me to your house to enjoy Thanksgiving diner as an outsider with your family. And upon arriving, I take one look at all the nourishing, satisfying turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato pie, and saying, ?Yuk, make me a steak!? Some people are just never grateful for anything and they bite the hand that feeds them.?
I. DON?T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
II. DON?T BITE THE HAND THAT LEADS YOU
A. Look at v. 10--- Now the complaining and groaning has turned to bitterness and weeping against Moses.
1. By now these complainers decide to make Moses the target of their complaining and anger.
a. My friends, let me educate you about trying to overburden, hurt or discredit any Shepherd that God places over a flock.
1) Whether it is a pastor, or a deacon, God?s word warns 1 Chron. 16:22 and Psalms 105:15, "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm."
ILLUSTRATION---How many of you have children? What happens when a small child starts to get into something he or she shouldn?t. You wave your finger and say ?NO!? The child immediately withdrawals it?s hand and maybe even cries. But what happens if the child turns right around and does the same exact thing? You punish the child. Well that is what was about to happen to Israel, because they turned right back around and started complaining again.