And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here?
It is so very easy to fall into discouragement when things don’t go the way that we think they should go, but we mustn’t let the enemy drag us down. The Lord is always with us waiting for us to call on Him and to trust Him so that He can reveal Himself as the one who is always ready to rescue us in our need. He uses such trials to draw us closer to Him.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
This was a huge mistake that Moses made here. The Lord told him to speak to the rock but instead, he struck the rock in anger. As a result of misrepresenting the Lord, the Lord did not allow Moses to enter the promised land. This may seem harsh, but is is a good reminder of how important it is that we accurately represent the Lord to others around us.
And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”
This is one of those verses that causes me to cringe every time I read it. God was faithful in providing food for them as they wandered thru the desert (as a result of their disobedience). And yet, they have the audacity to complain calling the manna, God’s heavenly bread, ‘worthless’. I am reminded to guard myself from ever regarding God’s provisions as worthless. I may not like what is being provided, but I must have a thankful heart and appreciate God’s faithful provision.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
The bronze serpent is a picture of Jesus on the cross. Take some time to read John 3:14-16, and you will see that Jesus speaks of this incident. As the Israelites looked to the bronze serpent on the pole to be delivered from death, so it is as we look upon Jesus on the cross to be spared from a spiritual death.
Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
I so desire to have this heart, that there would never be anything that would cause be to go ‘beyond the word of the Lord my God’.
And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”
The Lord’s purpose will get accomplished one way or another. I am sure that Balaam would have thought it better had he just listened to the Lord in the first place.