This morning, in my daily reading in Num 11-13, I was reminded of three great dangers which arose before Moses and the people of God, a year after departure from Egypt. Every pastor recognizes these dangers immediately as things that commonly happen in local churches.
1. Dissatisfaction with God's provision that leads to complaining (11:1) and "intense craving," (11:4) and a desire to go back to the joys of Egypt (Num 11).
2. Disagreement with God appointed authority where Aaron and Miriam are upset with Moses and want their voices heard (Num. 12).
3. Division as a result of fear spreading from bad reports that came from the 12 spies (Num 13).
These three things can rise in a moment and cause harm, to all, but especially to those who foment them. In the case of Moses, these things grieved him to a point where he was not able to bear it, and at one point He wanted God to kill him (11:14). But His humility and grace and submission to the Lord, his faithfulness and softness before the voice of God and His grace carried both he and his people (12:3,7-8, 13). Moses remembered that God called him to "carry them in your bosom, as a guardian carries a nursing child to the land..." (11:12).