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?
opened up the ground and swallowed them up (All those associated with Korah) 250 men consumed by fire
He knew God
To cause me not to sin and be jealous, but to be strong and faithful to Him and to trust in Him alone
collected, hammered out flat, overlay on the altar
Been faithful, prayed, trusted God, repented of their own sin
God is always on the side of the righteous, those whose battle position is on their knees
Took his censer, put incense in it and burning coals from the altar, made atonement for the assembly running in midst
He has made atonement for us, He sits at the right hand of God as our eternal priest