Summary: Series on men and women’s prayers in the Bible that made a difference and how prayer truly is the difference maker in our lives. I borrowed the outlines from SermonCentral Pro Contributor Tim Byrd.
Moses: The prayer for pity
When it comes to our Christian walk I suppose all of us at some time or another get angry and we begin to complain and want to give up and quit. We say things like there’s no use. The harder I try the worse things get. I don’t witness because no one listens. I’m just spinning my wheels. I’m getting nothing out of church so why should I go. My daily stresses and problems are all vanity. I can’t ever find happiness? I’m tired of the daily grind it has become mundane and repetitive.
Now I know many of us here tonight have felt this way before for 2 reasons:
I’ve talk to many of you going thru it and I’ve gone thru it!
Sometimes God’s people want to quit…
Which is the case in tonight’s message. In the scriptures we are told and read that Moses was a man of great faith. Because of his great faith God was able to use this man like no other. But in our passage of scripture tonight Moses is suffering from faith failure.
Most often when a person suffers faith failure there’s two signs. The first sign is a complaining spirit and the second sign is we want to quit. We will see that tonight as we look at Moses. We will see that first off he begins to complain to God about the children of Israel and secondly he wants to quit. Read Numbers 11:10-17.
Tonight we are going to look at the problem that Moses is facing. We will be looking at three things: First off, The Symptoms of the Problem and we will see that these symptoms led to Moses getting angry and so the second thing we will see is the Source of his anger and we will close it out with the Solution to the Problem. So let’s begin by looking at some of the symptoms Moses was experiencing.
A. Moses was Displeased.
The crowd with Moses began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and in Numbers 11:4 it says, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!" You may remember from Exodus that God provided manna every evening with the dew and the Israelites were to gather only the amount they needed for a day’s provision. They lived day to day with manna from heaven. They began to have cravings for other things besides what came from God. I think we can learn a couple of things about negative thinking and cravings.
Cravings and complaints distort our thinking. The children of Israel began glamorizing slavery! All of sudden you get the idea that they wished they were slaves again. They begin to reminisce about the fish and the free cucumbers, leeks, onions, and garlic during their oppressive slavery. Cravings can distort our thinking such that we want to return to old habits that enslave us. God wants to feed us everyday that we may be truly free!
Another thing we learn is that cravings and complaints are contagious. The people complained and then we find that Moses begins to complain, which we will get more into later. Cravings simply mean that there is a lack of contentment which often makes others lose their contentment. It’s amazing how we begin to crave what our neighbors and friends have just recently craved and purchased.
Now the lesson here is be careful what you crave or wish for because God will sometimes allow you to have your cravings or wishes and in the end you wished you would have kept your mouth shut. You see God answered their complaints by allowing them to have meat to eat. Read Numbers 11:18-20. God sent them so much quail that the nation of Israel got sick of eating quail. God was fed up with them and filled their cravings to the point it made them sick. Be careful what you wish for folks.
So the people’s complaining was evil in Moses’ eyes. He couldn’t believe what He was hearing. It was like Moses was thinking to himself that, “You’ve got to be kidding me! You really wish you were a slave again?” It troubled him and hurt him and so he became angry, not for the Lord’s sake, but for his sake. He begins throwing himself a pity party, which leads us to the second symptom.
B. Moses was Distressed.
Who were the people complaining too? The people were complaining to Moses because he was their fearless leader and you kind of get the idea that they are blaming Moses. Someone always has to hear the complaints and take the blame and it’s usually the same person. So what we see is that Moses becomes miserable because, in a sense, the people were harassing him. Verse 10 says that, “Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent.” That’s a lot of complaining and a person can only take so much complaining before life begins to get a little distressed or miserable.