Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: Numbers 11-13.
When we lived in Okemos, Michigan our next door neighbors were both organizational psychologists.
When we were dealing with some particularly rough growth issues, we hired Dr. Marla to help us understand some of the root issues that we were experiencing in spite of our success.
Here we have the "meek", reluctant Moses leading two million people through the desert. I was amazed at the problems 25 people could come up with in our company, I simply can't imagine trying to manage 2,000,000.
As is generally the case, the problem wasn't simply coming from the rank and file, Moses was also being challenged by his top brass: Aaron and Miriam.
Here were their complaints:
- Israel - why did you drag us out here in the desert, we were better off as slaves in Egypt.
- Aaron and Miriam - do you think you are the only one that God speaks too?
Moses was clearly having a melt-down from all the complaining:
"Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ 14 I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.”
I'm afraid from here on out, complaining will be the least of the problems facing the people of Israel. Fortunately for Moses, God displays his wrath with Israel to straighten them up, and gives Miriam a case of leprosy (which he later healed) for her insolence.
Tomorrow's reading is going to bring an insult to God perhaps equal to the Golden Calf, and we are going to begin to understand that obeying the Law is impossible, and that mankind is deeply in need of a Messiah.