Summary: Number 11- Moses learned how to deal with "EGR" Extra Grace Required people.
“How to Win With EGR People”
Numbers 11:10-17, 24-30
Many of you have relatives, work with people, or have neighbors who are EGR people. They are Extra Grace Required people.
In Numbers 11 Moses faced many EGR people. 11:1, “Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Fire from the Lord raged among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp.”
Numbers 11:4-6 – “Then the rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt, and the people of Israel also began to complain. ‘Oh, for some meat!’ they exclaimed. We remember all the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic that we wanted. But now our appetites are gone, and day after day we have nothing to eat but this manna!”
They were complaining to Moses that God was not doing enough for them.
Did the children of Israel have reason to complain? The area of the country they were traveling in was a bleak, barren desert wasteland. Granite mountains without vegetation faced them on all sides.
Not all the people who left Egypt were God honoring people. The “rabble” traveling with the people of Israel pretended to follow the Lord but were not true followers.
The Apsi-bull cult was a popular religion in Egypt and there were many followers of this cult that were part of the 2 million plus crowd in the desert. When Moses ascended on Mt. Sinai the “rabble” persuaded Aaron to compromise and go back to the bull cult and the cult followers helped him craft a “golden calf” to worship.
It doesn’t take long for complaints and negative attitudes to spread. The people were fed up with “manna” and wanted meat. They were willing to die for a great big juicy steak.
Numbers 11:10 - “Moses heard all the families standing in front of their tents weeping, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.”
Extra Grace Required people are not easy to satisfy. EGR people cause conflicts.
Moses had experienced the miraculous power of God at work in delivering the children of Israel from Egypt. Now in the desert Moses experienced continual conflict and complaints.
I. You Can Expect Continual Conflict & Complaints
Like Moses we all face continual conflict. Jesus said as long as we live in this world we will face tribulations and sorrows. (John 16:33)
Moses was tested by continual stress. (Numbers 11:10-15) Moses complained to God that he didn’t deserve the kind of treatment he was receiving from the people. What was he to do; he couldn’t pull meat out of the air. Verse 14-15, - “I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! I’d rather you killed me than treat me like this. Please spare me this misery!”
Moses was worn out, burned out, depressed and exhausted. He was ready to give up. God answered his cry by telling him to recruit 70 other leaders to work with him in carrying the load.
Whenever you are emotionally drained or physically exhausted don’t make any major decisions. Wait on the Lord and catch your breath. Take a break and get a big picture of life. Get a new perspective after rest.
Moses recognized he needed help. God promised Moses help – Numbers 11:16-17 “the Lord said to Moses, “Summon before me seventy of the leaders of Israel. Bring them to the Tabernacle to stand there with you. I will come down and talk to you there. I will take some of the Spirit that is upon you, and I will put the Spirit upon them also. They will bear the burden of the people along with you, so you will not have to carry it alone.”
God provided 70 leaders to reduce the work and ministry stress Moses faced. God also met Moses as he worshiped in the tabernacle. God then gave Moses a new assignment, to tell the people that meat was coming. The children of Israel would get more meat than they could eat.
God brought quail hovering just three feet above ground within reach for the picking – so much quail that they covered the ground for the distance of one day’s journey. There was more than enough quail to feed two plus million people.
Moses seemed to go from one conflict to another. Chapter 12 he faces criticism from Miriam, his sister, and Aaron, his brother. Criticism is hard to take but especially hard when you are already weak. Moses’ wife Zippora had died. Moses remarried a Cushite woman from Ethiopia. He married a woman of a different race. Their main complaint was against his marriage, but also because they were jealous of the power and influence of Moses.