Dan Gatlin - September 29, 2019 pm - Gospel Meeting                                                MP3                                PP

Lessons From Kadesh

 Intro—The book of Numbers is one of the books of the Law, but it primarily shows Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness.

     A. What should have been a brief  journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, became 40 years of

           agony because of Israel’s unfaithfulness.

     B. Numbers begins in the 2nd month of the 2nd year after the Exodus (Num. 1:1), and ends in the

40th year (Num. 36:13)

C. The faithless generation that caused the wanderings continue to show the same faithlessness

throughout the entire period.  Heb. 3:16-19

D. The first time Israel gathered in Kadesh is in Num. 13:26-31; 14:20-23

1. Chronology is difficult to determine in Numbers.

2. In Num. 20, Israel is gathered in Kadesh some years later.  The period of wandering is not yet

ended, but is coming closer.  Some of the unfaithful generation are still alive.

3. Israel was still sinning against God.  Note the sins of which they were guilty:


I. The Sin Of Complaining.  Num. 20:2-5 

A. “nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.” -

1 Cor. 10:9-10

1. The word “complain” (gonguzo) means, “to mutter, murmur, say anything in a low tone” - W.E. Vine

2. “It contains the idea of a judgment and a condemnation of God by man who instead of giving God thanks and showing obedience set himself up as a judge over God.” - Rienecker

B. Complaining (murmuring) is not a boisterous, riotous disruption.  It is a quieter form of rebellion.

1. It comes from dissatisfaction in where we find ourselves in life.

a. “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” - 1 Tim. 6:8

b. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you

have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” - Heb. 13:5

2. It shows a lack of trust in God.

a. We like to control our own destinies—but much of life is out of our control.

b. How do we react when our prayers are not answered as we’d like?

1) Do we press on, determined to get what we want?

2) Do we complain?

3) “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions,

in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” - 2 Cor.12:10

C. Not complaining sets us apart from the world.

1. “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and

harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse

generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” - Phil. 2:14-15

2. Complaining shows a dissatisfaction with life, or some situation.

a. Christians are to rise above worldly, temporal things.

b. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” - Col. 3:2

II. The Sin Of Disrespect.  Num. 20:7-11

A. Disobedience shows a lack of respect and honor.

1. God commanded Moses what he should do.  Moses allowed his anger and pride to rule.

a. He subtracted from what God said by not speaking to the rock.

b. He added to God’s word by striking the rock.

2. He took credit for himself, “Must we bring water. . . “

B. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by

all those around Him.” - Ps. 89:7

1. “Does this mean that sectarians do not honor and respect God?  Many seem so sincere in their expressions of devotion.”

2. Obedience is the true test of sincerity.

a. Apollos changed when he was corrected.

b. Those who hear the truth and reject it are not sincere seekers of the truth.

C. God is deserving of our respect & honor.

1. He is our creator.

a. We are made in His image.

b. We have intellect, moral freedom, & we are eternal beings.

2. He blesses all men with good.  Matt.5:45; Acts 14:17

3. By His grace, He sent His Son (He didn’t have to).  Rom. 5:6-8

III. Consequences Even Of “Small” Sins.  Num. 20:12

A. Many would say, “So, he changed it slightly.  What’s the big deal?”

1. God expects complete obedience.  Who are we to change what God said?

2. There is a false doctrine that says “God forgives us even as we sin.”

a. Which sins does God automatically forgive?  How many times can we sin before God stops


b. God forgives only as we repent & obey.

B. God alone has the right to set conditions for our salvation. 

1. He has done nothing but good for us, but man has rebelled.

2. It is our sins that have separated us from Him.

3. “Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For

shall the thing made say of him who made it, ‘He did not make me’? Or shall the thing

formed say of him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?” - Isa. 29:16

C. Our duty to God is clear. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the

LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

- Mic. 6:8

D. Even “small” commands must be obeyed.  Jms.2:10; Heb.2:3

IV. The Sin Of Ingratitude & The Desire For Physical Comforts.  Num. 21:4-9

A. Ingratitude is directly connected to selfishness.

1. We can’t truly thank others if our minds are focused on self.  Lk. 17:11-19

2. We will not truly thank others for things we don’t value. 

a. How could Judas so easily betray the Lord?

b. ”because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were

thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 

Professing to be wise, they became fools” - Rom.1: 21-22

3. Gratitude is a rare quality.

B. God promises us everything we need, not everything we want.

1. If most of us had our way, we’d have a lot more material things.  Would that bring us closer to


2. It is often the lack of material things that causes us to depend on God.

3. God does not promise physical security, but spiritual.

a. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ

Jesus.” - Phil. 4:19  What is “your need?”  I know how to be abased, and I know how

to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be

hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ who

strengthens me.” - Phil. 4:12 It has nothing to do with being full or going hungry.  It is

spiritual need.

b. Material things are fine, but they are not what life is about.


 Conclusion—Let’s learn from the mistakes of Israel, that’s why they are recorded.

A. That generation didn’t enter the promised land because of their unbelief.

B. If we fail to believe & obey we will not enter heaven.  Have you obeyed?