When the Rabble Rises

“The people complained in the hearing of the Lord, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them… Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down…

“Now the rabble among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, ‘Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at…’

“Moses heard the people weeping, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,” to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people?.. I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me.’

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel.., and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. I will come down and talk with you there.I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone…’ Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders.'” Numbers 11:1-2,4-6,10-14,16-17,25

Moses had no easy job. He followed everything the Lord told him to do, but his 600,000 charges were incessant whiners, and he could not bear it any more. The drone of complaint wore away at his holy resolve and optimism; leading Israel was displeasing to the core, and very disheartening. So he went to the Source of wisdom and help, his LORD.

When the rabble among us cries with complaining, and the rabble within us rises with strong craving, we have an Advocate, a present help. External trouble is exhausting, sometimes more than we can bear. When we identify it, God undertakes to help us deal with it, often through His Spirit-filled people. Hidden inward rabble can be detrimental in many areas as it erodes our peace, contentment, confidence, strength, and vision. (Psalm 46:1-3)

We, like Moses, can approach God with confidence to find help in every instance. He stands as our Defender, guards our hearts and minds, prays continually for us, and provides all and everyone we need. We are inextricably bound to our stronghold by His grace. (Psalm 18:1-2; Romans 8:31-39; Philippians 4:6-7,19; Hebrews 4:14-16)

What rabble is rising, pestering, unnerving, or weighing heavy today? Would we take our every concern to the Lord, and receive His aid?

Father, help me accept the rabble You ordain as impetus to press close to You and act as You lead. May I trust Your Spirit in every trouble.

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