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Summary: Exposition of Numbers 16 regarding some of you today are on the edge of a spiritual cliff, about to fall off, and you don’t even know it.

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Text: Numbers 16:1-50, Title: Silver Bullet #4, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/3/11, AM

A. Opening illustration: Church discipline testimony day, related to the help that accountability and submission to authority brought to myriads of men.

B. Background to passage: In 1 Cor 10:6-12, Paul gives examples from the OT as a warning and a help to the Corinthians in their battle against lusts and selfish desires that were causing them to thwart the gospel to unbelievers and cause their brethren to stumble. In vv. 1-5, he gave some allusions to the early days of the exodus, and now he gives a little more detailed references. And he says these examples are given for our warning to the end THAT we don’t lust after things like they did. He says these examples will help us fight! And so to only briefly overview these references would defeat the point. We must think on them as we battle. The first week we looked at idolatry and our own depravity from Ex 32, then we looked at sexual immorality and the floodgates of evil from Num 25, then at tempting God by calling His character into question and judgment from the bronze serpent passage in Num 21, and all of these have in common great sin by the covenant people, judgment from their covenant God, death of thousands, so that they are examples to us. And so it is today—more sin, more death, more warning, and more ammunition to fight sin.

C. Main thought:

A. Questioning Authority (v. 3, 13-14)

1. So only two chapters after the hugest rebellion and judgment at Kadesh Barnea in chapters 13-14, the rebellious hearts of people swell up with great tenacity again. This time it was against God’s ordained leadership. Time and again Moses was shown to be God’s man in leadership, and time and again they questioned it. But this time it was a well organized attempt to take over Moses’ and Aaron’s priestly service by those were capable but not permitted to do so. In fact, they had lots of support. So they accused Moses of leading them out to the wilderness to die and of exalting himself over the people and ruling them like a king. So a challenge is issued, and God’s anger was aroused (Moses’ anger was same word later), and He again was ready to destroy the whole nation and start over. But note how Moses interceded for the nation. God relented, and simply told Moses what would happen, Moses announced it to the people, then the earth had some lunch. Notice the charge that Moses lays at their feet before the earth eats them: they have “rejected” the Lord; word means: spurned, reviled, blasphemed, despised, turned their backs on, treat with contempt, KJV translates it “provoked the Lord,” which the LXX lends support to. So the earth swallows Korah & Co, and fire incinerates the 250 other usurpers, then the people still complain! And Moses again intercedes to protect the from judgment. But the plague had begun, and before Aaron could assuage the anger of God, 14,700 died.

2. Ps 105:15, Heb 13:17, Eph 5:22, Eph 5:22, 1 Pet 2:13, 5:5, 1 Sam 15:22-23,


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