FOOLPROOF GAMEPLAN FOR STIRRING UP GOD’S ANGER
A. (:1-3) GOD PERSEVERES IN HIS LOVE FOR US DESPITE OUR PATTERN OF REPEATED FAILURES
1. Praise the Lord / Give Thanks
for His Goodness
for His Lovingkindness
for His mighty deeds
2. Practice Righteousness / keep justice
B. (:4-5) WE LONG TO ENJOY GOD’S BLESSING AND PROSPERITY ALONG WITH GOD’S PEOPLE
Exactly what is it that we would most like to experience?
"the prosperity of Thy chosen ones"
"the gladness of Thy nation"
"glory with Thine inheritance"
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There are many different ways to fail in our walk with the Lord;
Satan has his will for our life which involves multiple ways of us turning away from God;
Modern sins with ancient roots;
There are some guaranteed ways to stir up God’s anger against us:
I. (:6-12) MEMORY LOSS
FORSAKING GOD’S GOODNESS
A. Fundamental Problem = Sin
"We have sinned like our fathers"
"We have committed iniquity"
"We have behaved wickedly"
B. Memory Loss at the Red Sea
1. Trouble ahead of them: trapped by the Red Sea
2. Trouble behind them: pursued by the angry Egyptians
3. Main Trouble = in their own minds
"did not understand Thy wonders"
"did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses"
Root problem cropped up again: they "rebelled" by the sea -- motivated by Fear;
Caused them to doubt the love and faithfulness of God
C. Miraculous Deliverance
"for the sake of His name"
"That He might make His power known"
D. Temporary Faith and Praise
"Then they believed His words" -- Faith is the key ingredient to combat all these
"they sang His praise"
Transition: "they quickly forgot His works" (:13a)
II. (:13-15) IMPATIENT INDULGENCE
FORSAKING GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL CARE
unhappy with the menu and with the scheduled meal times
Problem of Contentment and of Faith
"They did not wait for His counsel"
"But craved intensely in the wilderness" -- all types of fleshly lusts
"and tempted God in the desert" -- failure to fear the Lord; presumptuous demands
"sent a wasting disease among them"
III. (:16-18) ENVIOUS OF GOD’S APPOINTED LEADERS
FORSAKING GOD’S AUTHORITY
A. Foolhardy Rebellion: Envious of God’s Appointed Leaders
1. "Moses in the camp" -- Rebels had delusions of Grandeur
2. "Aaron, the holy one of the Lord" -- Rebels had no fear of God
B. Severe Discipline
1. Against the instigators of the rebellion."earth opened up and swallowed up Dathan ... and Abiram"
2. Against the followers of the rebellion
"a fire blazed up ... and consumed the wicked"
IV. (:19-23) MATERIALISTIC IDOLATRY
FORSAKING GOD’S GLORY
A. How Low Can You Go?
From worshiping the majestic God of the universe to worshiping a golden calf
"the image of an ox that eats grass"
Idolatry = giving the preeminence to something other than God
B. How Forgetful Can You Get?
"forgot God their Savior"
"Who had done great things in Egypt "
"Wonders in the land of Ham"
"And awesome things by the Red Sea"
C. How Close to Extinction Can You Be?
"Therefore He said that He would destroy them "
D. How Important is Godly Intercession?
"Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him, to turn away His wrath from destroying them "
V. (:24-27) INCESSENT GRUMBLING
FORSAKING GOD’S PROMISES
A. Four Sins of a Faint-hearted People
"Then they despised the pleasant land"
2. Lack of Faith
"They did not believe in His word"
3. Spreading Discontent to Others
"grumbled in their tents"
4. Ignoring the Word of God
"they did not listen to the voice of the Lord"
B. Discipline = Dispersion and Insignificance
"cast them down in the wilderness"
"cast their seed among the nations"
"scatter them in the lands"
VI. (:28-31) UNHOLY ALLIANCES (RELIGIOUS COMPROMISE).FORSAKING GOD’S HOLINESS
A. Religious Corruption
1. In Affiliation -- "They joined themselves also to Baal-peor"
2. In Practice -- "And ate sacrifices offered to the dead"
B. Anger of God
"they provoked Him to anger with their deeds"
"And the plague broke out among them"
D. Righteousness of Intercessor = Phinehas
"Phinehas stood up and interposed"
VII. (:32-33) ANGRY SELF-WILL
FORSAKING GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS
A. Provocation is No Excuse for Sinful Anger
B. Anger and Loss of Self-Control Are a Dangerous Combination
"He spoke rashly with his lips"
"So that it went hard with Moses on their account "
VIII. (:34-39) FELLOWSHIP WITH THE WORLD
FORSAKING GOD’S UNIQUENESS
A. Incomplete Obedience = Disobedience and further Temptation
"They did not destroy the peoples, As the Lord commanded them"
B. Mingling Leads to Mimicking
"they mingled with the nations"
"And learned their practices"
C. Idolatry Leads to Corrupt Paganism
(:40-43) CONCLUSION: REPETITION OF THE CYCLE:
A. Failure of God’s People
B. Anger of God
(:44-46) CONSTANT OF GOD’S LOVINGKINDNESS AND COMPASSION.cf. Question: How many times must I forgive my brother? No limit!
God can be provoked either:
To Wrath OR
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1) God says those who disbelieve His promises are disobedient and will not be happy or content. Can you identify an area of grumbling in your life that is associated with a lack of trust in God’s promises for you? If so, purpose to change.
2) How is it possible to experience God’s miraculous deliverance and then live as if it had never happened?
3) A weakness or sinful tendency can often be seen popping up from generation to generation. How can you create a new family history that passes on virtuous qualities?
4) Can you, like Moses, stand between God and his execution of judgment on a sinner?
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