Israel’s Trouble in the Wilderness, Num 11:4-6

The things that troubled Israel in the wilderness are the same things that will trouble you in your Christian life.  Israel’s trouble in the wilderness included:

Discontentment – Num 11:4-6; 21:5 – they hated the manna.  It was the perfect food to sustain them in the wilderness.  Furthermore, they had the constant companionship, provision and protection of the Lord.  But they were not content.  Discontentment will trouble you in your Christian life.  You want something that God hasn’t given you or you want something different than he has given you.  You need to learn to be content [Phil 4:11; Heb 13:5; 1 Tim 6:6].  God truly knows what’s best for you.  Discontentment will wreck your relationship with the Lord.

Disappointment – Ex 32:1; Num 16:12-14 – they were despondent and frustrated and their expectations had not been met.  They thought that they should already have vineyards, fields, and a land flowing with milk and honey.  So, they murmured and complained repeatedly, though the long wilderness journey was their fault for disobeying God in the first place.  Often, Christians have expectations of what God should be doing for them or what the Christian life should be like.  When their expectations are not met, they get frustrated and complain.  Many even become bitter and give up.  There’s nothing wrong with God; the trouble is with your expectations.  You cannot see how good God has been to you because you’re only think about yourself.

Disremembrance – Num 11:18; Num 14:3-4; Deut 1:27 – they forgot what Egypt was really like.  They forgot the cruel bondage, the drowning death of their sons, the affliction, and the rigorous work that caused them to cry out to God for help. Their view of the past was distorted so much they thought what they had in Egypt was better than what they had in the wilderness.  Your distance from your past can distort your view of the world and result in you backsliding.  And you forget that friendship of the world is enmity with God.

Disregard – Ex 20:4; Ex 32:1-4 – they disregarded the Lord.  He said don’t make a graven image to bow down to and they made a golden calf.  He said keep the sabbath and some of them went to collect manna on the sabbath or picked up sticks on the sabbath.  God told them to stay away from the Moabites and they committed whoredom with them and bowed down to their gods and ate their sacrifices.  They disregarded the commandments of the Lord.  And when you do the same thing in your Christian life you wind up in trouble just like they did.   Many Christians live their lives with total disregard for the Lord and what he said.  They have no idea what the Bible says about what they are doing and they don’t care to know.  They just want to do their own thing.  That’s trouble, my friend.

Disrespect – Ex 16:2 – they disrespected Moses and Aaron.  Over and over you read the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron.  These men were the servants of the Lord charged with leading them through the wilderness and bearing their iniquity before the Lord.  God has given you preachers and a pastor to minister to you and to edify you.  When you complain and murmur against the person God gave you to try to help you, you end up troubling yourself.  Your pastor is worthy of your honor if he is a Bible believer who gets with God to find out what to teach and preach.

Discord – Num 16 – the congregation followed Korah, Dathan and Abiram.  They also followed the ten spies who were afraid to enter Canaan the first time.  And these men troubled Israel.  When you follow men who seek to draw away disciples after them [Acts 20:30], you are going to wind up in trouble.  God doesn’t want discord in our marriages, in our families and in our churches.  When you give in to discord, you bring trouble on yourself just like the Jews did.

Conclusion:  If you want to minimize the trouble in your Christian life then learn to be content, don’t let yourself become frustrated with God and despondent, remember that the world is the enemy of God, pay attention to everything that God says and obey his commands, respect those whom God has given to help you grow, and be in one accord with your fellow believers.