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Tabernacle When the Time is Right Lesson 19
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
February 10 2002 Bible Lessons
Operation Outreach

Murmuring = (Greek) The low constant sound of a running brook; The cooing of doves; The contented sounds of a baby; To grumble in low tones (as the cooing of doves) to oneself or secretly to others; To confer together in a secretive manner about matters of discontent; A secret debate in quarrelsome discontent.

Let's continue this phase of our study of murmuring with a real quick look at the results of such action in both the people of Israel, and in the life of Moses.

"Oh, no!! Don't tell me we have to listen to murmuring again?"

If you think your tired of hearing about murmuring, wait until you see what God thinks about it. As we look at these results, we need to keep in mind that two of the main causes of murmurings are:

  1. Selfish discontent
  2. Absence of true thankfulness

Any selfish discontent or lack of real thankfulness will cause murmurings. Our main attention wants to be on the murmurings concerning the direct provisions of God.

James 1:16-18 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREDo not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Of course any "good" provision (gift) comes from God, but for this lesson, we want to observe the results of murmuring against God's direct provisions for Spiritual life. Our God given example for this truth will be Israel in the wilderness. What we learn will also have application to murmuring about almost any subject such as home, church, school, work, etc.

We have seen some results of the murmuring of Moses. One of those results was that the "anger of the Lord was kindled against him". That should be enough of a result, but there is more, as we will see.

We will look at the ultimate results in the life of Moses a little later. First, we want to take a summary of the murmurings of the people, and the results of those murmurings. We will have to make this study of the people's murmurings an overview, because the accounts of such are so numerous that it would take several lessons just to read the accounts.

Bring back the story line to your thinking. God met with Moses at the burning bush and gave him instructions. Moses met his brother Aaron, and the two set off for Egypt to carry out the instructions of the Lord (if you want more details, please see Exodus 1-4LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE). When they arrived in Egypt, they met with the elders of Israel and explained the situation.

Exodus 4:27-31 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREAnd the LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. 28 So Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

It was a good first meeting. The people "believed" and "worshiped". You couldn't ask for much more. Please note. Even at this early stage, the major concern was their personal affliction.

There is certainly nothing wrong with being concerned about personal afflictions and those of your children. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be rid of afflictions, and there is nothing wrong with doing all within your power to lessen your afflictions.

However, as we will see, their personal needs and wants took first place over God's plan and purpose. The Israelites never stopped to think that if they were to be freed, there would be a cost to obtain that freedom. Not only would there be a cost, there would be a process needed to obtain that freedom. Freedom is not an instant microwave meal.

Take a mental "snap-shot" of this scene found in Exodus 4:27-31 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE, and hang on to it for a while. To see whole picture clearly, we need several other "snap-shots" that have already been taken and recorded elsewhere in the Bible.

As we look at their murmurings, we will see that over and over again, they felt they were being abused or forgotten by God and Moses. Plus, we need to see WHY God would even bother to free them from slavery in the first place.

The "why" is important, because if I were God, I would have left them in Egypt to rot, because these people were nothing but trouble. The Israelites, like many Believers today, felt that God owed them comfort, pleasure and their own selfish way. Therefore, they were demanding that God provide what they thought He owed and in a manner of their own liking.

God, unlike humans, never acts without a valid reason. Therefore, we must see that reason. Before we look at God's reason for acting on their behalf, let's see God's account of His part in their affliction. We are going to look at a passage in Isaiah, and we need a little background to make sense of the passage when we read it.

Earlier in this Isaiah passage, God had been speaking about, what is commonly called, The Great Tribulation. The earlier part of this passage is a direct reference to the great last battle of the Tribulation that will take place just before Christ sets up His earthly kingdom.

In the passage, this horrible time of death and destruction is referred to by the title of "The day of vengeance". God's garments are seen as red with blood, and when ask where it came from, His response was...

Isaiah 63:3-6 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE"I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth."

This is a reference to events that have not yet happened. I know, some try to make these events something that has already happened, such as some past war or natural disaster. A person would have to twist the Scriptures a LONG way to apply this passage to some past war, or any natural event. No past event or combination of events even come close to the happenings of this passage.

God said that HE, Personally, had trodden the winepress -- ALONE, and that no one was with Him. Some of those who try to make this an event of the past, point to the fact that the passages says, "I have trodden", etc. Indicating that He had ALREADY accomplished the task.

Please keep in mind that many prophecies are given by God to the prophet through visions. In those visions, the prophet sees future events as though those events were taking place as the prophet views the vision, when in fact, the vision is a revelation of things yet to come.

Depending on how far into the future the events of a vision are projected, some events which are still in the future will be referred to as if they had already taken place, in the vision. However, in real time those events are still future.

We must compare the events recorded by one prophet with the same events recorded by other prophets. In so doing, we can establish the time sequence of the events and whether they are past, present or future. We can also establish the time of the events by comparing them to history, to see if such events have ever happened before.

As to these events, there have never been any recorded events, either in Biblical or secular history, that even comes close to being the same or similar. These events of Isaiah 63:1-6 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREhave to do with events that will take place just before Christ REGATHERS Israel into the Promised Land and sets up His earthly kingdom.

In the midst of all this blood, gore, anger and vengeance, the Holy Spirit stops His discourse of things to come, and has Isaiah look back at some events that had already happened in real time and says....

Isaiah 63:7-8 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREI will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. 8 For He said, "Surely they are My people, children who will not lie." So He became their Savior.

It seems strange that the Holy Spirit would interrupt this revelation of events of the last days involving anger, fury, destruction, vengeance, and suddenly change the tone of the proclamation to tenderness, goodness, praise and lovingkindness.

It really isn't so strange when we look at the big picture of time, as God sees it. Without sounding like a broken record, which I am, please note how important it is to compare a passage with all other Scriptures. If we didn't make such a comparison, we would be left out on a limb to make-up our own theology on this matter.

By the way, that is a phrase you will hear more and more. Some, who are not willing to properly develop a doctrine or theology from harmonizing all Scripture, often say something like, "Well, my theology" or "My doctrine says such-'n-such". Avoid, at any cost, being caught in that trap of personally stating such, or listening to someone who does.

When we see Isaiah 63:7-8 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREin light of the whole of Scripture, rightly divided, then this abrupt change in tone from horrid things to lovely things, from future events to events that have already taken place thousands of years ago makes perfect sense, is understandable and from these events, we can gain insights into the events involved in the affliction of Israel in Egypt.

In the first part of Isaiah 63 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE, God is speaking of putting down Satan's rule and regathering and reestablishing Israel in their own land. An event that has been promised by God since the time of Abraham, but has not yet been fulfilled. After this time of Great Tribulation, Christ will gather Israel from every nation under heaven, and take them BACK into the land promised to Abraham.

Then starting in v. 7, it is as though God's mind rushed back to a time when He FIRST brought Israel out of a foreign nation into that Promised Land. The first time God brought Israel out of a foreign nation into the promised land was when He brought them out of Egypt, and that's exactly what we are studying, right now.

Once again, it is SO important that we search, compare and harmonize the whole of Scripture, if we are to get a full picture of any one passage. A task that no human will ever perfectly complete in a lifetime, BUT one that we should always continue, and we should strive to do it to the best of our abilities.

In this revelation, given by God to Isaiah, God allowed Isaiah to see events that had not yet happened, and would not happen for many years to come, AND God allowed Isaiah to look back to event that had happened many years before.

Both the future events, and the past events have a very close relationship to one another. A relationship that can only be seen by seeing these events "side-by-side", EVEN though some of these event happened thousands of years apart.

For this lesson, we want to gain, from this passage, information that will give us a clearer understanding of the murmurings of the Israelites, and WHY God's response was so harsh. Then, we need to apply what we learn to our own lives, so we will not "sin after the same manner".

Keep the context in mind, and it will help in understanding what follows it. God is revealing to Isaiah information about events leading up to Israel's going back into their own land at some future time.

Then, in human terms, God says, "That reminds Me of another time when I first took Israel into the land. It was not a time of judgment. It was a time of lovingkindness, goodness and mercy". In effect, God said, "Isaiah, I want you to look back at My involvement with Israel, and record the contrast of that time with the time to come"

Isaiah 63:7-8 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREI will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. 8 For He said, "Surely they are My people, children who will not lie." So He became their Savior.

Remember, one of the major causes of Israel's murmuring in the wilderness was that they thought God had ignored them, and was being unfair. Not an uncommon thought for Christians, even today. But look at what really took place, EVEN though unseen to the people of Israel.

Isaiah 63:9 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREIn all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.

Every time "He" or "His" is used in this verse, Isaiah is referring to God. The publishers have helped us to see this fact by capitalizing the first letter of these words.

Isaiah 63:10-13 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBut they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them. 11 Then He remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: "Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, 12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses, with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, 13 Who led them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they might not stumble?"

No Christ NEVER left Israel! He was NEVER unfair to them! As a matter of fact, all their afflictions afflicted God, too.

God, by His Presence, saved them, led them, divided the waters, etc. Even when they were rebelling against and grieving the Holy Spirit, God still cared for them. God's care never diminished, even when they were asking, "where is God" and "why has He was allowing these thing to happen?"

No! God didn't ignore them! Every pain they felt, God felt. But God only does His work in the "fullness of time", not because of discomfort, either to Himself or His people.

Galatians 4:4 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBut when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

If only we could learn that fact, and learn it well, it would make a difference in all that we do. We need to realize that God works when the time is right for fulfilling a promise or obligation. God does not act simply because we are in discomfort or because we beg. If we were always conscious of this fact, it would make a difference in what and how we prayed, AND it would make a difference how we live. God had promised Abraham that He would give His descendents the land, but only in the fullness of time.

Genesis 15:13 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREThen He (God) said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

No! God had not forgotten them! As a matter of fact, 400 year earlier, God told Abraham that his descendants would spend 400 years serving and being afflicted by another nation. God also told Abraham that after those 400 years they would come back to the land with great possessions.

WHY didn't God just put them in the land in the first place, and save all that trouble? He is sovereign, you know. Maybe our definition of sovereignty and God's is a little different.

One of the many reasons that God didn't just put Israel in the land is stated in the last part of vs 16.

The Amorites 
weren't bad enough 
for God to remove them in judgment.

God knew it would take 400 years for the Amorites to become "ripe" for judgment. God also knew it would take 400 years before the descendants of Abraham would have the population, and the will to take the land.

God also said that they would come back into the land with great possessions. This was not an "after-thought" based on an opportunity brought about by man's actions. This was through the eternal knowledge of God and His stated plan to Abraham 400 years before it happened.

How in the world could God "pull off" this one? If you are going to have great physical possessions, then those possessions must come from some physical source. God did "rain" manna from heaven, but God has never "rained" gold, silver, precious stone, etc. from heaven. It certainly would not be out of God's range of power to do so. After all, the streets of the New Jerusalem are going to be paved with pure gold.

However, when it comes to God's provision, God does the impossible and we are to do the possible. It was impossible for humans to get "bread" in the wilderness, so God did the impossible. He "rained" manna from heaven. However, in this matter of Israel's leaving Egypt with great possessions, there were human possibilities.

The Israelites couldn't just go to the Egyptians, and say...

"Hey guys! We would like to have great possessions. So how about forking over a bunch of stuff so we can leave with great possessions?"

No, a plan of that nature would not work. BUT after God brought the plagues on Egypt, the people wanted to give them a lot of stuff, just so they would leave. Because of this, God was able to bring them out with great possessions.

This is real sovereignty,  
just brute power.

Oh, yes! God had a plan that would provide Israel with great possessions. But to be a part of that plan and to make the plan work would require a little physical suffering on the part of Israel.

We need to be 
when we ask God for things,  
God just might answer our prayer.
Philippians 4:19 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREAnd my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

It seems that many Christians have the concept of God "supplying all their needs" as: --bundles of thousand dollar bills being rained down from heaven.., RIGHT NOW!!! BUT God's means of supplying our need may be just a little different.

God supplied the "need" of Israel. However, it took 400 years, slavery and affliction to receive the supply of that need. Somehow, in the back of our minds, we have this crazy idea that if God supplies our need, then it will not require anything on our part. I don't know where that idea came from, but it DIDN'T come from the Bible.

In a similar manner, some express the desire to have a godly life like the Apostle Paul. BUT take a quick peek at one of God's methods of developing that godly living in Paul's life.

Acts 9:15 LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBut the Lord said to him (Ananias), "Go, for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake."
Do you want to be like the Apostle Paul?
Are your willing to suffer like Paul?
Be careful what you pray for!

The modern Christian church has been cursed by the satanic doctrine of "Name it and Claim it". Even if we don't accept the doctrine of "Name it and Claim it", that demonic doctrine has influenced much of our teaching, our prayer life and our living in general.

Moses and the rest of the people of Israel all went through the same things, BUT Moses was declared to be a man of faith, and most of the rest were declared to be NOT well pleasing to God.

1 Corinthians 10:1-6LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREMoreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
made the difference?  
was God pleased with Moses and unpleased with most of the rest?
Hebrews 11:24-29LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREBy faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king;
for he endured 
as seeing Him who is invisible.
28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
Isaiah 63:9-10LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREIn all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them.

Most of the people, who were unpleasing to God, saw their affliction as something God should take away. NOT SO!! Christ's greater riches could have been theirs, through obedience. BUT they wanted God to change things so they could enjoy the riches of Egypt - right now!

The "un-pleasing ones" wanted God to change His eternal program, so they could have temporal blessing. Instead, God wanted them to change, so they could enjoy Christ's greater riches for all eternity.

By faith Moses choose to suffer affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a little season. Moses endured BECAUSE Moses, by faith, SAW Him Who is Invisible. The "un-pleasing ones" saw only the treasures and pleasures that quickly pass away, and they missed the greatest sight of all time, THE INVISIBLE GOD!!

Moses saw the Invisible God, 
by faith. 

Moses saw that God suffered the same affliction as the people, and did so for the sake of the people.

Moses saw the Invisible God, Whose presence saved them.

Moses saw the Invisible God, Who loved, pitied and redeemed them.

Moses saw the Invisible God, Who bore them and carried them all the days.

Moses endured because he saw, by faith, the Invisible God.

The "un-pleasing ones" missed all of that, because they could not see beyond the circumstances. They could not see God in the circumstances.

Most of the people saw only themselves, their affliction and their desire for comfort. Their needs and wants became bigger and greater than God and God's provision - THAT'S IDOLATRY!!

Therefore, when the people of Israel didn't get what they thought God owed them, they REBELLED against and GRIEVED the Holy Spirit.

1 Samuel 15:22LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWAREThen Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion (fruit of bitterness) is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."
Rebel = (Hebrew) To be bitter, therefore to resist.
Matthew 12:30LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARE"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
Ephesians 4:29LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARELet no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
Hebrews 10:35LOGOS BIBLE SOFTWARETherefore do not cast away your confidence (patience), which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2002