The Life of Moses: Grumbling Against God

Peter Barnes: Numbers 14

(13 October 2019)


– a wonderful land (13:23), but the Canaanites were big and there were fortified cities (13:28).

1. The sin of grumbling and rebelling against God.

– 14:1-4. Isaiah described the fearful restlessness of the wicked – Isa.57:20-21. They cry out, they weep, they grumble, they become nostalgic about Egypt, they purport to be concerned for the women and children, and they want another leader. It gets worse – 14:10a.

2. The intercession of Moses.

14:5-10. God is angry, and again offers Moses leadership of a new nation – 14:11-12 (see Ex.32:10). Instead, Moses intercedes for the people again – 14:13-19. Moses pleads with God: ‘If we perish, God will be viewed as weak.’ Verses 18-19 appeal to Exodus 34:6-7.

– Daniel prays God’s Word back to Him – Dan.9:1-3. George Mueller: ‘I commit the whole work to Him, and He will provide me with what I need.’ God loves orphans.

3. God’s punishing and chastening.

– 14:10; God’s glory signifies His heavenly presence. 14:20-21 – no tribal deity

– everybody over twenty years of age will wander in the desert for forty years and not enter the Promised Land – 14:22-35. The ten times in verse 22 are possibly Ex.14:11-12; 15:23; 16:2, 20, 27; 17:2ff; 32; Num.1, 4ff; 13-14. Sin leads to dead bodies (14:29, 32, 33, 35). The ten unbelieving spies die of plague – 14:36-38. What if we do not believe what God says? John 8:23-24.

4. Israel does not learn its lesson.

– the actions of the half-convinced – 14:39-45. They disobey 14:25. The people mourn (14:39), they note God’s promises (14:40), and they said the sinner’s prayer (14:40). Faith is not presumption. Heb.3:12-14.