Moses – Freeing Yourself to Know God

Lesson 10: “From Elation to Depression” Numbers 10:33-11:33


“Moses heard the people of every family wailing…” Numbers 11:10


Ungrateful contention

·        Is it possible to experience God's overwhelming power, and then shortly become so depressed we want to die? Is it possible to go quickly from a strong faith to questions and doubt?

·        The Israelites camped at Mt. Sinai for a year. It was here they committed a great sin. Here they received the Law. Here Moses experienced a close fellowship with God. However, God decided it was time to march on (Num. 10:11-13) The cloud began to move…

·        Moses left with great optimism, his faith bolstered by his experiences in God's presence. Notice his confidence as the Ark goes before them (10:33-35)

·        But, it happened again. The people began to complain (11:1) just as they had done before. The Israelites had far less to complain about this time, and it angered God (11:1)

·        The fire was a warning, and a sign God was keeping his promise to Moses (Exod. 33:3) Moses responded well, again interceding for the people, and the fire died down (Num. 11:2)

·        The people kept up their complaining though (11:4-6) They had food, they just wanted better food! They were not satisfied with God's generous provisions.


Intense depression

·        For Moses, he is again attacked at his most vulnerable point. And again he is deeply affected. First, Moses loses sight of God's promises. Moses essentially calls the Hebrews big babies (11:11-12), but feels forsaken, like he is responsible for carrying the Hebrews. Has Moses forgotten what God had said? (Exod. 33:3,10,14-16)

·        Next, Moses loses sight of God's power. Moses wonders where he can get meat for so many people. God has to remind Moses what He is capable of (11:23) Where is the Moses of Exodus 15:6? Moses is also doubting the Israelites will ever be satisfied (Num 11:22) Moses didn't trust God, and he didn't trust the people. He had lost hope, and the results were not surprising

·        Moses loses sight of God's overall plan. Since as far back as the burning bush, God had promised He would be there to support Moses. God had promised to guide the people all the way to Canaan. Yet Moses wishes he were dead (11:15) It would be comical if it weren't so tragic

·        God understood Moses' despair, though. He is a caring God. Remember the other times we studied men of God who experienced depression. God provided what they most needed


Positive solutions

·        God instituted a plan similar to the one Jethro had proposed (Exod. 18:7-26) 70 elders were selected. God would empower these elders with His Spirit to assist Moses (Num. 11:25) Again, God is saying to Moses 'You are not alone'.

·        In addition, God removes the complainers with divine judgment (11:33)

3 Principles


#1) It's easy to forget God's promises and power in the midst of intense pressure and complex problems

#2) God understands our difficult times, and wants us to share our feelings with Him

#3) We should seek God's solutions to our depression


For next week read Numbers 12:1-16; 16:1-15