March 05, 2021

Put Me to Death

Numbers 11:4-18

“I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.”

—  Numbers 11:14

As God led his people Israel through the desert to the land he had promised them, the journey was long and hard. But the Lord always provided for them. Even so, the Israelites often complained about their hardships, saying they had it better in Egypt—even though they had been slaves there.

When God disciplined the Israelites because of their rebellion, Moses’ heart was troubled. He cried out to God, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? . . . Please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

Did Moses make sense? Like Elijah many years later (1 Kings 19:1-5), Moses was praying with a broken heart. He was overburdened by trying to lead a difficult, complaining people through the wilderness. Imagine the pain in his heart that prompted such a prayer. It wasn’t that Moses didn’t have faith to pray. He was expressing his extremely broken heart to God. Imagine also the pain in God’s heart because of the people’s complaints and rebellion.

God heard Moses’ prayer and appointed 70 elders to help with the burden of leading the people. God also sent quail so that the people could eat meat. What a miracle that was!

God’s power is boundless, and God listens to the prayers of leaders who care for his people.

Father God, let us not indulge in greed or complaining. Help us to be satisfied and to live in gratitude for all that you have given us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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