Summary: Expect oppositions in life and ministry, but stay focused. Listen to what God has to say, not man. Repay with grace, not justice.
How do you handle oppositions - people who do not like you, make fun of you, and always coming at you, with or without good reasons.
• And worst still, you can’t run away from them; you are called to serve them. That’s Moses’ experience. And that can be our experience in ministry.
• A group of leaders came against Moses. This was not the first time, but probably the most difficult for him. They questioned his authority to lead.
Come to think of it, we have no record of any compliment given to Moses by these people except complaints.
• I was curious, and so I flipped back the pages and tried to find something nice that was spoken about Moses, and I found none.
• In fact, what I got was this common refrain: “Why did you bring us out here to die?” And one word kept coming up - Egypt.
EXPECT OPPOSITIONS BUT STAY FOCUSED
Moses was called into this ministry, but looked at what he was facing.
Exo 15:22-25 – 3 days after crossing the Red Sea, water at Marah but it was bitter.
• God asked Moses to throw a piece of wood into the water and it became sweet.
Exo 16:1-4 – Shortly, at the Desert of Sin: "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
• And God rained down bread from heaven and sent in quail from the sea.
Exo 17:1-2 – At Rephidim but no water. "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?"
• And God provided water from the rock.
Num 14:1-5 – The scouts came back with report: "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
Num 16:1-3 – we have a few men plus 250 community leaders opposing Moses: "Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?"
It got PERSONAL. They questioned his authority. Who are you to stand above us? Who gives you the right to rule us? (… lord it over us? v.13)
• This was tough for Moses. If you have a committee that can vouch for you, that’s fine. Here, look, this is the minutes of the meeting. The committee appointed me and elected me.
• But Moses only answer would be: God appointed me! He called me to do it!
• “Yah, right. Where is God? When did He say that? How come we didn’t hear it?
God has to vouch for him, there was no other way. And He did. God did a one-of-a-kind miracle.
Num 16:28-30 – Then Moses said, "This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: 29If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me. 30But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt."
Num 16:31-35 – 31As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart 32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions. 33They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. 34At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, "The earth is going to swallow us too!" 35And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
God stamped His approval of Moses, beyond a shadow of doubt.
And you know what happened next? Num 16:41 – The next day the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. "You have killed the LORD's people."
• There is no end of man’s criticisms and accusations. Man’s eyes can be so blinded to God’s will that they see nothing else except their own self will.
• The world, and the one in the world, will come against you, with or without good reasons. They don’t need any, actually.
• We are in SPIRITUAL WARFARE and fighting an enemy in the spiritual realm (that’s what we covered in last week DG time)
EXPECT OPPOSITIONS BUT STAYED FOCUSED on God and what He has called us to do.
• Even if you are as innocent as Moses, or as perfect as Jesus, you will have people coming against you.