Numbers 11:26-35

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Sends a Large Number of Quail to Discipline the People

Numbers 11:26-35

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord is pleased with the spiritual desires of His people.
  2. The Lord is displeased with the selfish desires of His people.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t have “Kibroth Hattaavah” written on your tombstone.


  1. Review what happened earlier in Numbers 11.
  2. How does Romans 15:4 apply to Numbers 11?
  3. What was the purpose of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon the seventy elders, allowing them to prophesy?
  4. Why was Joshua concerned about these two elders prophesying in the camp?
  5. Why did the Lord strike the Israelites dead when they ate the quail?


  1. The Children of Israel were complaining about their problems and provisions. The Lord was displeased about their complaining and said He would send them so much meat to eat they would be sick of it. He also told Moses to appoint seventy elders to assist him with his workload.
  2. Romans 15:4 says that everything written before was written for our learning. This means we are to learn a lesson from the account in Numbers 11 so we do not commit the “sins of the wilderness” and fall short of the spiritual blessings the Lord has for us.
  3. Their prophesying confirmed Moses’ selection and showed the people that they were chosen of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  4. He was afraid they would try to usurp Moses’ spiritual authority.
  5. Because they never paused to thank the Lord for His provision. They just began to gorge their appetites.


  1. Moses was not jealous when the seventy elders began to prophesy. He was pleased that the Spirit of the Lord had come upon them, and wished this could be true of every Israelite. Today every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. God is pleased when we want to use our natural talents and spiritual gifts to serve one another. Read 1 Peter 4:10 and 1 Timothy 1:3. What are your spiritual desires? When you see other believers with fervent spiritual desires, do you become jealous of them, or are you thankful that the Spirit is working within them? God is pleased with our spiritual desires.
  2. Are you pleasing the Lord with your desires, or do you desire things that are dishonoring to Him? 2 Corinthians 5:9 and Colossians 1:10 say it should be our desire to please the Lord. When believers have selfish desires and are discontent and complaining, the Lord is displeased. When the Lord provides something you have desired, do you stop to thank Him for His provision?


  1. After many Israelites were struck down with the plague, they were buried in a place called, “Graves of Craving.” The legacy these people left behind was their lifestyle of selfish desires and cravings. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? Could your grave be labeled better than “Grave of Craving”?

Key Verses

  • “Oh, that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!” Numbers 11:29
  • “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

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