IC@MK Sunday Service (4 Oct 2020)

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Posted by International Church at Mont Kiara on Saturday, October 3, 2020

Incense and Almonds: Contentment With God’s Plans (Numbers 16-17)

(For accuracy of this transcript, kindly refer to video or audio file)

Most of us at some point in our lives, we’ll have a problem with authority. We don’t like others telling us what to do. We have a tendency to challenge those who are over us. Kids, maybe that’s at school, maybe that’s with your parents. Adults, maybe it’s your boss at the office. Maybe it’s the government. Maybe it’s leadership right here in our church. Sometimes we think we could do a better job than those people in leadership, sometimes we’re jealous of them. We could be discontent with the roles that we have. In God’s word this morning, Numbers Chapter 16 and 17, we’re going to look at a few strange objects, things like incense and almonds, and they’re going to teach us about being content with God’s plan. We’re halfway through our study of Numbers, it will be good to keep in mind, kind of an overall structure of the book. I’ll borrow this diagram from the Bible project. The first 10 chapters was about one year still at Sinai after the 10 Commandments were given, getting ready to go into the promised land. And then in chapters 10 through 12 for a few months, there was a journey up to Paran, on the southern border of the Promised land. But we saw once they got there Chapter 13 and 14 the people rebelled. They refused to go into the land. And so up and through Chapter 19 we see for the next almost 40 years, the Israelites were just wandering throughout this wilderness of Paran. Until finally, we’ll get two chapters 20 and 21 in a few weeks. Another journey that takes them to the eastern side of the Promised land, the region of Moab, where they’ll be for the remainder of the book getting ready to again enter into the Promised land. So, most of these 40 years of wandering in the wilderness that we’re familiar with are actually just summarized in these seven short chapters. Chapters 13 through 19, we’re only taking a few sermons to summarize this large period of time. And yet these few sermons, I think, and these few chapters are enough to show us a pattern of unbelief, of grumbling and of rebellion. And in our passage this morning the focus will be a pattern of discontentment, particularly when it came to challenging authorities. And these two chapters we’re going to see three stories which each teach pretty much the same lesson. And to summarize these three stories, we’re going to take three different objects, to help us pay attention. And so, in the first half of chapter 16, we’re going to see an incense burner. In the second half of Chapter 16 will look at an altar covering, and in chapter 17 there’s going to be an almond branch.