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Summary: At first glance the book of Numbers reads a bit like an operations manual. It’s got numbers of soldiers, lists of names, and a bit of repetition. Tucked between those lists and numbers are some stories of real people, dealing with real issues of faith!

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BETWEEN THE NUMBERS

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?

NUMBERS 20

***This message tagteam preached with Billy (layperson in our church)

INTRODUCTION - VERSE 1 (ERIK)

-Everyone has funny things that gets said in their house with no one else around.

-For years one of our family jokes came from my wife Laura.

-When the kids were whining about doing chores, or if I was whining about doing chores she had this kind of shut down saying she’d use.

-“Why should I have to vacuum, or clean toilets, pick after the dog?”

-And Laura would say three little words, “I GAVE BIRTH!”

-It’s pretty hard for me to compete with that! If the world was a fair place mother’s might be exempt from bad chores for life because they gave birth.

-But you can only rest your laurels so long. You can only appeal back to previous good deeds so many times before people start saying, “That was a long time ago.”

-What have you done for me lately?

-In our Numbers story today we’re looking at critical chapter in the story of Israel’s Exodus.

-There has been one family that has been prominent in the leading of God’s people.

-MOSES, AARON AND MIRIAM HAVE BEEN GOD’S CHOSEN LEADERS FOR NEARLY 40 YEARS.

-They were mostly faithful people with a few hiccups along the way.

-They were key people that God used at key points to accomplish his purposes.

-But as we begin chapter 20 we see their season of leadership is beginning to wind down.

1 In the first month of the year, the whole community of Israel arrived in the wilderness of Zin and camped at Kadesh. While they were there, Miriam died and was buried.

-Miriam, the sister of Moses passed away after many years of service.

-God had said that only Joshua and Caleb would enter the Promised Land, but we’d kind of assume that Moses and his family would also make the cut.

-But Miriam’s time came. And in the midst of dealing with that loss, the people decide it’s been a while since their last rebellion and they begin another episode of faithless outbursts.

2 There was no water for the people to drink at that place, so they rebelled against Moses and Aaron.

-This wasn’t the first time they had rebelled against Moses.

-And this wasn’t the first time they’d complained about water. If you look way back

EXODUS 17 WAS THE FIRST TIME THE PEOPLE WERE CRYING OUT FOR WATER.

-Being really thirsty can make people cranky...they were talking about killing Moses if he didn’t find some water. That’s why our church has a water fountain right down the hall!

-God didn’t bring the Israelites out of Egypt just so they could die of dehydration.

-The first time God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff, and out came water.

-The people had more than enough water for themselves, their kids, their livestock.

-It was a miracle! God provided water out of nowhere.

-So here they are again, needing water and they’ve seemingly forgot about God, his power, his providence...but they hadn’t forgotten how to whine.


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