by Terry J. Hallock

Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God
T. J. Hallock
Numbers 11:4-34
August 24, 2003

There are some fights one just out not to pick. An old pop song by the late Jim Croce, entitled "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown", described the baddest man on the south side of Chicago. The chorus of the song said: "You can't tug on Superman's cape. You can't spit into the wind. You can't take the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you can't mess around with Slim." Slim was a pool shark from the south who blew into Leroy Brown's Chicago with his hustle and a custom made three-piece cue bent on taking Leroy down. Yet when the dust had settled Slim was on the ground and Leroy was still the baddest man in town. There are just some fights one ought not to pick.

In a conversion with Moses recorded in Numbers 11:23, the God of the Bible says this about Himself. The Lord answered Moses, "Is the Lord's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown may have been the baddest man in the whole town, but the God of Israel was, is, and will always be the baddest God in all creation. Brothers and sisters, our arms are just too short to box with this God. History is littered with the broken remains of kings and empires who thought otherwise.

Yet, Numbers 11 tells us there were rabble among the Israelites lacing up their gloves to pick a fight with God. From day one of the exodus God had led Israel out of one danger after another, but there were those among her who continued to fuss and fight. In fact, just before our passage for today begins at verse 4, we are told in verses 1-3 that their rebellion had gotten so out of hand that God had sent a fire into the camp that consumed some of the outskirts. The people cried out to Moses, who prayed and the fire died down.

Yet despite having seen the power of the Lord's arm, the disbelieving, faithless, ignorant, and self-important rabble begin to throw jabs at God: The rabble with them ...

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