Numbers Sermons by Rev. Mike Jones [September 20, 2020]
And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee (Numbers 10:32).. That makes for a good way to invite people to Church- God is going to bless us and if you will come join us then we will share those blessing with you. In other words, our actions will result in a great reaction for you. It is easy to get people to attend a church where God is working.
If you hang a 500 pound steel ball by a rope and hang a cork ball on a string beside it and then let the cork ball swing against the steel ball long enough then the steel ball will begin to move! A very small action can eventually cause a very big reaction- Story of God’s provision of $1100 from a $110 dollar gift to pay for Minister’s breakfasts (LCN 8-25-10)
Life is filled with Actions and reactions:
- Via Family: If Satan cannot defeat you then he will attempt to defeat someone whose defeat will defeat you (Spouse, children). (Esau’s wife Gen 28. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not (1 Samuel 3:12-13).
- With Circumstances- Desert Hardships- For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? (Hebrews 3:16-17).
- Family Faith can Help you- Wife for Husband Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1 Peter 3:1).. Me Leading Family to the Lord Canaanite Mother who had sick Daughter- Mt 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. [Also Tribulation children- For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (1 Corinthians 7:14).
- Friends can help you. Roof men who carried sick man- When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (Mark 2:5).
- Centurion Servant (Matt 8:10- Great Faith led to Healed Servant)
- Joseph- Blessed for Joseph’s sake- And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field (Genesis 39:5).
Second Death- And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death (Revelation 20:14).
The people wanted more than God was willing to give–He was giving them Manna and they wanted meat! (Today God has given us Salvation and a promise of Heaven; and we want house, land, and health!!) The discontent of the people became a heavy burden on the heart of Moses. As we see how God dealt with this burden I hope we can see how He will help us in our burdens as well.
I. THE DISCONTENT
1. The people were really saying, “God, you don’t love us or you’d give us what we want” [Ps 106:15 He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their souls). They labored day and night and then many died before they were able to eat (Just like today).
2. This is a common problem today:
a. Church- People want the onions of the world instead of the Bread of life.
- Housewives: no one appreciates
- Husbands: No one considers how hard I work
- Youth: no one understands
- Elder: no one cares
II. THE DESPAIR. Its one thing to complain TO God but quite another to complain OF God.
Problems mount (The washing machine goes just as the refrigerator sighs its last breath. The tires on the car wear out just as your wife tells you junior needs braces. The teacher gives you a double load of homework the same night you come off being “Grounded” and that “certain someone” finally said they would go with you.)
We begin to take everything PERSONAL; as if God and the universe were picking on ME ALONE. We think no one else can understand or Help For we could not, brethern, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life; But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (II Cor 1:8-9)
THE REASON FOR TRIBULATION–
A) Persecution for the right you do- If any man suffer as a Christian let him rejoice
B) Punishment for the wrong you do- Reap what you sow. (Not to hurt but to show error of ways)
C) Purging for the person you are becoming- God said He chose you in the furnace of affliction. He is now molding you into His image.
D) Physically for the person you are- Some people are simply more prone to disease or sickness than others.
III. THE DESPONDENCY (End of the rope) Ask for death!!!
1. Moses: vs 14, 15 People didn’t measure up to his expectation.
2. Elijah: I Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. His work was not appreciated- queen threatened to kill him
3. Job: Job 6:8-9 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off. Lost of Health and Family
4. Jonah: Jonah 4:3 Therefore now, O Lord, take I beseech thee, my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live. Pride- some people go to hell over what people think!!!
5. Even Paul said he despaired of life- II Cor 1:9
IV. THE DESIGN OF GOD
A) God HAS a Help for you (I once tried my best to fix a part on my car. After reaching the point of tears from frustration I cried out to God and asked why He didn’t help. At that moment the next door neighbor came up. He knew exactly what to do and it was fixed in minutes! I Needed someone else to help me!!)
Elijah- I have 7000 that haven’t bowed. Select Elisha to help you
Job- His “Friends” brought him to the place he could say, “I have hear of thee with the ear but now my eye seeth thee”
Jonah- God used a vine to help him see what was right
Paul- said you also helped with your prayers
Moses- God told him to appoint 70 elders to help with the work. Adam- God gave him a “Help meet”
[Mountain climbers rope themselves together so that if one slips the others can hold him. Get saved and get active in Church so you’ll have someone to help you thru life’s valleys.]
B) God IS a help for you- “I will never leave thee or forsake thee”. “I Will not leave thee comfortless”. God is the Rock we build on, He never changes. We can count on Him ALWAYS.
But sometimes God must place us in the place of dire distress before we’ll allow Him to control our lives– You must first get a man lost before he will want to be saved. The prodigal had to feed the hogs before he appreciated his home. You must be sick before you’ll call the doctor. You never see the stars except at night.
C) God WILL BE a help for us. Jesus did not leave us WEALTH or an INSTITUTION; He left us a Promise- that one day He would return to receive us unto himself. NEVER DOUBT IN THE DARK WHAT GOD HAS PROMISED IN THE LIGHT.
Remember God will always make a way of escape that you might be able to bear whatever burden you have. Use any help God has given you and Trust in His Strength
ANY DESPERATE PEOPLE HERE? GOD HAS HELP FOR YOU.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight (Numbers 13:33).
It seems today that the mark of Christianity is Restlessness, Rebellion, and wickedness. We hear tell of men in days gone by who had a zeal for God and reaped the Blessings of God but they seem to be little in evidence today. What has caused Christians to “hang their harps on the willows” (Ps 137:2) and mourn sore like doves? What causes Christians to jump from one Church to another seeking that elusive “something” they never seem to find? What keeps us from enjoying the blessings of God??
There are numerous answers to these questions but I think some illumination can be gained by looking at Israel. They had escaped the captivity of Egypt and were on their way to the Promised Land to enjoy God’s Blessings. Four things, however, blocked their Blessings.
I. THE FEAR OF GIANTS- 10 of the spies brought back a glowing report of the Blessings and Bounty of Canaan Land. The “fly in the ointment”, however, was the fact that they also reported Giants in the land. Israel allowed their Fear to overcome their Faith and turned away from God’s Blessings.
They missed God’s plan for their lives and the nation ended up dying in the desert because they thought God’s Blessings were dependent on man’s strength. It is a sad story, but I wonder how many Church members today are living lives of “Quite Desperation” waiting to die in the desert because they refused to say with Paul, I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me (Phil 4:13).
II. THE FURY OF JORDAN- When finally the Children of Israel agreed to enter the Promised Land the first thing they had to face was the Jordan River in all its fury. God did not bring them to the river at its lowest point; He brought them to the brink of the Jordan at Flood stage (Josh 3:15)!
Is this where you fail? Did you think that as soon as you Claimed God’s provision for Strength that all the obstacles would be removed and Life’s Road would be easy? Instead, you found Jordan at its worst! We know that God turned this Road Block into a Benefit for Israel as He opened a way for them to cross but many Christians still allow unexpected problems and difficulties to become barriers to blessings in their life. Like James (1:24) we must learn to count it all joy when we fall into divers temptations; knowing that the trying of our faith works patience. But let patience have her complete work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. If we will just press on by Faith the waters will part and Victory will be ours.
III. THE FORTRESS OF JERICHO- You have overcome the Giants and the Jordan but now that you are finally at the place of God’s leading you find that Blessings include Battles. What are you to do? You have traveled this far by Faith but now it makes mores “sense” to devise a scheme of your own. Especially since God’s plan of action (simply marching around and around the problem) does not seem to work and makes you look foolish. You want to build weapons, dig tunnels, and train to fight. Instead, God asks you to simply trust Him and obey His instructions; until the walls come down and the victory is won.
That is when you realize afresh that the battle is not yours but the Lords (2 Chron 20:15) and by using faith instead of flesh to do battle then God gets the Glory. This truth is especially helpful when we finally recognize that in the battles of daily living we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against Principalities and Powers and Rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph 6: 12) so all of our fleshly abilities and skill mean almost nothing.
IV. THE FAILURE AT AI- This final killer of Blessings is so subtle and yet so deadly. Giants and Jordan and Jericho have all fallen before your constant Faith and now you look forward to enjoying the Victorious Life; when suddenly you are brought to crushing Defeat. Your prayers and soul searching brings the knowledge of a secret hidden sin. It seemed so small and insignificant at first until you overlooked it but now the Blessed Fellowship of God is broken and you hear Him say, neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you (Josh 7:12). The overwhelming truth that Sin separates us from God has come home to you. You realize that only as you remove the Sin can the Blessing of Victory be yours again.
I wonder how many Christians and Churches today live in Defeat and Despondence instead of enjoying the Blessing and Bounty of the Lord because they have not dealt with Sin in their midst??
The Eyes of the Lord run to and fro through out the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (II Chron 16:9). The Lord WANTS to Bless His people if they will just be “Blessable”. What Hinders YOU from enjoying the Blessings of God??
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Numbers 14:18).
- Sins in the Church impact people for now and eternity. Sins of Sorry Saints:
- Grumble about God’s Program- And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. (Numbers 11:1).
- Gossip about God’s People- The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. (Proverbs 18:8).
- Criticism is sometimes necessary but let it be done as a loving friend instead of a deceitful enemy-Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:5-6).
- Criticism is easy to give but difficult to receive. Look at the long term results of criticism before giving it- Jesus said it was better to let the tares grow with the wheat because of the damage that would result to the wheat if the tares were pulled up (Matt 13:29-30)
- The Goal of criticism should be to build up; not tear down- Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
- When Jesus corrected the seven churches of Revelation He used this formula: Compliment them on something positive they were doing, point out a specific problem, and present a corrective plan.
- Robbing God’s Work of Resources- Tithes and Offerings
- Hinders the ministry of the Church
- Underpays the Pastor of the Church
- Cripples the work of God around the world
- Anger and division among God’s People
- The Brother and Sister of Moses tried to take his “Church”- And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it (Numbers 12:1-2). And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed (Numbers 12:9).
- Moses’ Church “Staff” tried to take over the “Church”- Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? (Numbers 16:1-3). It ended up with God wanting to kill the entire congregation until Moses and Aaron pleaded for Mercy.
- Need I tell you about Paul and Apollos? Or the fact that most of Paul’s letters were written about Church problems.
- Churches dot our land which were built In anger instead of the call of God.
The Eternal destination of a person is determined by that person, not their parents– Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (Ezekiel 18:19-20).
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 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!” Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 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. 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.” 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 (Num 21:4-9).
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life (John 3:14-15).
From the very beginning, when Satan came as a Snake in the Garden, men have had to recognize the danger and destructiveness of Snakes. Now God is sending them among his own people. From this tragic event, however, comes one of the great illustrations of God’s Redemption.
I. THE REASON THE SNAKES CAME- People were weary in the way. They were tired of traveling and never getting to their destination. So they began to complain about Moses and God. As a punishment, God send Snakes among them.
Five Possible Causes they became tired and impatience:
1) Life was harder than they thought it should be- Edom had refused them passage. This greatly increased their travel time and discomfort. This led to Complains against God and Moses.
2) Lose of Spiritual Leader- Aaron had died (Aaron was a People person who stayed with the people while Moses met with God).
3) Conflicts came- Had just fought first battle (Arad the Canaanite). God no longer did it all.
4) Lost of Faith in Leader- Moses has sinned and had told them he would soon die (Insecurity).
5) Sorrows had come- 40 years of Funerals (over 603,550 had died). Every household had buried loved ones along the way.
II. THE RESULTS OF THE SNAKES- Everyone who was bitten died. This is a serious situation. Something must be done. You must realize that the snake in your life is not a Pet but a threat; Pretty colors but poisonous bite!
III. THE REDEMPTION FROM THE SNAKE BITES. A brazen snake on a cross is raised and the people can “Look and Live”. The only cure is the Cross.
As you travel the road of life today, you too may be tempted to fight against God and God’s People. That will lead to sorrow and trouble. Come to the Cross. That’s the only thing that can help you.
If you’ve been “snake Bit” because of some sin in your life. Come to the Cross. There is healing awaiting you there.
Are you desperate enough for God’s Blessings to fight for it?
You cannot correct what you are not willing to confront.
The battle for your souls begins in your mind.