Summary: God is in the delivery business. He seeks to deliver us from the power of our sin.
The Road to Deliverance
May 21, 2006
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station.
God is in the delivery business or more aptly in the deliverance business. He has a way of showing up just when we need Him.
Examples of deliverance in the Old Testament
The release of Joseph from prison
The sending of the ten plagues and the escape from Egypt
The parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharoh’s Army
God supplied Manna from heaven each day to feed the people of Israel
God gave water from a rock when the people needed water
God has shown us a history of great faithfulness. He has proven Himself to us over and over again. He is the one who brings deliverance in the midst of our distress. This morning I want to look at a familiar story from the Old Testament to see how God deals with disobedience and still offers deliverance. Open your Bibles with me to the book of Numbers 21:4-9
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!" 6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
I. The people acted in disobedience and discord (4-5)
The actions of discord
1. The people grew impatient
This may seem like a small thing but we have to remember that these people were impatient with God. These are the same people that were led out of Egypt. These were the same people that crossed the Red Sea when God parted it. They had walked on dry ground. These are the same people who had accepted a covenant with God at Mt. Sinai. They had seen the glory of God fall upon the mountain. These people witnessed the power of God over and over again but still they were not satisfied.
The reality is that the people were no longer willing to live in God’s time. We are a lot like this aren’t we. We want what we want and want it now. We get impatient when the line a Mc Donalds is too slow. We gripe when traffic is only going 65 when we want to go 75. We complain when church service is too long. We want God to give us everything we want at the precise moment that we want it with no regard for His time or His plan.
2. The people spoke against God and Moses
The people openly voiced their discord with God and Moses. This was more than just a simple disagreement, the people alllowed their spiritual discernment to become marred. The important fact was that they were speaking. this means that they were allowing the problem in their heart to flow out if their mouth and effect their lives
The people were voicing a protest against the actions of God. There is little difference today, people still have a problem with God and voice it in unhealthy ways. Look at what the Israelites did they had a problem with god and took it out on Moses. nine times out of ten when people have a probelm with God, they will take it out on leaders of the church.