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The Worst Rebellion (Numbers 11-14)

TEXT: Numbers 12:1-3

1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn”t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. 3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

  1. Moses’ older sister and brother began to oppose his leadership. What caused this sibling rivalry?
  2. Who is meant by “the Cushite wife”?
  3. Why was Miriam punished but not Aaron?

TEXT: Numbers 14:13-16, 19

13 Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, O LORD, are with these people and that you, O LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put these people to death all at one time, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ”The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath; so he slaughtered them in the desert.” 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

  1. Since the people were planning to stone Moses and Aaron, why is Moses defending them before God?
  2. When Moses quotes the neighboring nations as saying “the Lord was not able,” is he trying to twist God’s arm?
  3. In 1 Cor 10:11-12 Paul says that these things were written as warnings for us. What lessons can we learn from the rebellions in the wilderness?

Lesson: Divine discipline has a redemptive purpose.

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