The story in Numbers chapter 21 is one that will continue to be remembered in Israel’s history. The people of Israel are journeying to the Promised Land. Their travel has been hindered by acts of disobedience. This story is no different. Moses says that on their way “they became impatient and the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness. For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” There are three points to observe in this passage. First, they became impatient. This is the default attitude of an unappreciative people. They are impatient to run the race faithfully. Impatience is the attitude of a people who lack an optimistic view of the future; who lack faith in God’s plans. Second, they oppose God and God’s anointed, Moses. They become practical atheists. Once you lose hope in God and in God’s representative, there is no more reason to live. Slavery becomes a more satisfactory option. Finally, they consider God’s gifts to be worthless. This is the final step to apostasy. It was George Whitfield who once said: “What greater sin can there be than that of ingratitude?”
This is not who we are. We are a people of hope; a people who trust in God and his leaders, and a people who are grateful. These are the characteristics of a people who worship God truly and humbly. Come, let us worship.
Prayer: Our God, may your redeemed declare your riches to all the nations. May we proclaim with grateful hearts your works among men, through Jesus Christ our crucified and risen Lord, Amen.