C. H. Spurgeon
|Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
These Notes from Spurgeon, famed for his expository preaching in England at Park St.
and Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, are well worth studying, adapting, and making
your own, for any sound preacher of the Gospel. He is deservedly known
to this day as "the Prince of Preachers," and is arguably the greatest
preacher who has lived since New Testament days! - Webmaster
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12. Against Murmuring.
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. Numbers 11:1.
Reherse the historical fact. Observe how the mischief began in the outskirts among the mixed multitude, and how the fire of the Lord burned in the uttermost parts of the camp. The great danger of the church lies in her camp-followers or hangers-on: they infect the true Israel. Hence the need of guarding the entrance of the church, and keeping up discipline within it. Grumbling, discontent, ungrateful complaining — these are grievous offences against our gracious God.
We shall consider the subject in a series of observations.
I. A DISSATISFIED SPIRIT CAUSES DISPLEASURE TO THE LORD.
1. This we might infer from our own feelings, when dependents, children, servants, or receivers of alms are always grumbling. We grow weary of them, and angry with them.
2. In the case of men towards God it is much worse for them to murmur, since they deserve no good at his hands, but the very reverse. "Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins" (Lam. 3:39; Ps. 103:10)?
3. In that case also it is a reflection upon the Lord's goodness, wisdom, truth, and power. See the complaint in verses 4-6.
4. The evil lusting which attends the complaining proves its injurious character. We are ready for anything when we quarrel with God (1 Cor. 10:5-12).
5. God thinks so ill of it that his wrath burns, and chastisement is not long withheld. See verse 33 of this chapter, and other parts of Scripture.
II. A DISSATISFIED SPIRIT FANCIES IT WOULD FIND PLEASURE IN THINGS DENIED IT.
Israel had manna, but sighed for fish, cucumbers, melons, onions, etc. But to set an imaginary value upon that which we have not:
1. Is foolish, childish, pettish.
2. Is injurious to ourselves, for it prevents our enjoying what we already have. It leads men to slander angels' food and call it "this light bread" It led Haman to think nothing of his prosperity because a single person refused him reverence (Esther 5:13).
3. Is slanderous towards God, and ungrateful to him.
4. Leads to rebellion, falsehood, envy, and all manner of sins.
III. A DISSATISFIED SPIRIT FINDS NO PLEASURE FOR ITSELF EVEN WHEN ITS WISH IS FULFILLED.
The Israelites had flesh in superabundance in answer to their foolish prayers, but:
1. It was attended with leanness of soul (Ps. 106:15).
2. It brought satiety; - "until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you" (verse 20).
3. It caused death. He "slew the fattest of them" (Ps. 78:31).
4. It thus led to mourning on all sides. Kibroth Hattaavah, or, "the graves of lust" was the name of this station (verse 34).
IV. A DISSATISFIED SPIRIT SHOWS THAT THE MIND NEEDS REGULATING.
Grace would put our desires in order, and keep our thoughts and affections in their proper places, thus:
1. Content with such things as we have (Heb. 13:5).
2. Towards other things moderate in desire. "Give me neither poverty nor riches" (Prov. 30:8).
3. Concerning earthly things which may be lacking, fully resigned. "Not as 1 will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39).
4. First, and most eagerly, desiring God. "My soul thirsteth for God" etc., (Ps. 42:2).
5. Next, coveting earnestly the best gifts (1 Cor. 12:31).
6. Following ever in love the more excellent way (1 Cor. 12:31 ).