21.4 Moses 21, Day 4

Grumbling

I want to talk about the word that the NIV Bible translates as “grumbled”.  I’m not saying this is the wrong word, but I think there is merit into looking deeper.

The dictionary defines grumble as, “to utter (complaints) in a nagging or discontented way, or, to make low dull rumbling sounds.”  It is more growl than bark, more nag than confront.

Let’s look at it in Numbers 16:41, “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the LORD’s people,” they said.”  The word grumbled is a translation of the Hebrew word luwn (Strong H3885).  Depending on the tense of the word, luwn can have a number of different meanings and in Hebrew there are 7 different tenses so, the meanings can be quite varied.  They can range from “to lodge, abide, dwell, pass the night” to “complain, murmur, grumble.”  In the tense used in this verse, the word is translated as, “to show oneself to be obstinate, to be stubborn.”

Obstinate, by definition, means: “stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.”

Isn’t that at the heart of what is really going on?  Despite seeing the ground open up the day before.  After seeing 250 charred to a crisp.  They very next day they still stubbornly refuse to change course.

This is their chosen course, a path of rebellion, a path of wandering, a path of death.  God wanted them in the Promised Land, eating milk and honey, but they chose and continue to choose another path.  They have decided to lodge, abide, dwell in the land of grasshoppers, when God wants them to become giants.

Where are you obstinate in your life?  What mentality about who you are, where you come from, what you deserve, do you refuse to let go of?  Where have you pitched your tent?

Grumbling doesn’t sound so bad, it is just a low murmuring, but it has its roots deep down in our heart and our head where we refuse to change course, despite attempts by others who love and care for us to persuade us to open our eyes and quit being stubborn fools.

There is only one who fully paid the price of atonement.  We are foreigners in this land, spiritual beings wrapped in an earthly shell.  God is calling us to be giants – don’t be a grasshopper, don’t be stubborn, don’t be obstinate.  Choose – do you want to be on the side of the camp dead from plague or the side saved through the atoning act of the High Priest?

 

My Answers:

7.
a.
opened up the ground and swallowed them up (All those associated with Korah) 250 men consumed by fire

b.
He knew God

c.
To cause me not to sin and be jealous, but to be strong and faithful to Him and to trust in Him alone

8.
a.
collected, hammered out flat, overlay on the altar

b.
grumbled

c.
Been faithful, prayed, trusted God, repented of their own sin

9.
a.
God is always on the side of the righteous, those whose battle position is on their knees

b.
Took his censer, put incense in it and burning coals from the altar, made atonement for the assembly running in midst

c.
He has made atonement for us, He sits at the right hand of God as our eternal priest

 

21.3 Moses 21, Day 3

The South’s Gonna Rise Again

Did anyone else notice that these people leading the revolt are all from the tribes on the south side of the tabernacle?  A little rebel yell?

According to Numbers 4, the Kohathites (Levites through the lineage of Kohath) were the moving men.  When it was time to move, Aaron and his sons prepped the pieces of the tabernacle, covering them in blue cloth and leather, “then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.” (Numbers 4: 15)

Korah was the cousin of Moses and Aaron.  Dathan and Abiram were Reubenites, the first born of Israel, the first in the census, but now having slipped to 4th in line when the camp moves, behind the camps at the east by the entrance to the tabernacle.

Now, they aren’t going into the promised land, at least not any time soon.  They are so close to the holy articles of the camp, but can’t touch them.  More work, more hard labor, more moving about, no individual glory, no recognition.

With all the tensions in the camp, it probably didn’t take much to brew discontent.  Just a little misdirected leadership, someone with a bold voice and big ego and lots of others would fall right in to the crowd.

I love Moses’ response, time and again.  When individuals rise up from within, Moses falls face down.  Numbers 16:4, “When Moses heard this, he fell facedown.”, Numbers 16:22 “Moses and Aaron fell facedown.”  In these cases, I’m not sure if this was their battle position or if they were simply ducking to get out of the way of what they knew the Lord was going to bring.

Where in your life are you “standing up for yourself”, when you rightfully should be going down on your face in front of God?  What battles are you fighting, claiming God is behind you, when the right place to be is behind God?

God makes His point in a clear and unquestionable way.  The earth literally opens up and swallows the leaders of the rebellion.  Their tents, possessions, family, all gone.  Their followers are consumed by fire from the Lord, leaving only charred remains and bronze censers.

I think the question over sides should have been resolved.

 

My Answers:

4.
a.
“You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourself above the Lord’s assembly?”

b.
Build a coalition – but, also, not much, because the people were so prone to sin, i.e., more work to keep them in line than slip

c.
Yes, in past jobs

5.
a.
K:jealous, bold, organizer, rable rouser, he was a “community organizer”
D&A: Followers – sons of the first born
M: Fighting position – face down in from of the Lord

b.
I can become frustrated over “grunt jobs”.  I can allow myself to get swept up in the complaints of others.  I also know the right place is on my knees in front of God.

6.
a.
God – 16:11

b.
4. fell face down, 8-11 Chastised: isn’t it enough…? It is against the Lord, 12-15 Summoned, Got Angry, 21-22 Interceded: will you be angry against the entire assembly when only one man sins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The title of this post is a bad reference to a 35 year old movie about the bombing of Pearl Harbor – Tora! Tora! Tora!)