Israel was filled with complainers. Belly-achers. Deliverance from their humbled position in Egypt had done little to diminish their natural pride and desire for power and recognition. This pride begins to ramp up into a series of conflicts that could have had even more devastating consequences – if not for the long-suffering kindness of God.
In his own way even Moses is caught up in the rebellion when he strikes the rock over the rebellion of others. This is one of the chief benefits of the stories and teachings of Numbers for Christ-followers in any century. In this book we learn the ins and outs of personal pride, and how to avoid the traps contained within adversity and relationships.
Take care to observe and listen my friend! The teachings and insights of this book have delivered me more times than I would like to admit.
“Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “the people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”
Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:6-13