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Why was God so intolerant of complaining in Numbers 21:5-6?

God's action seems so strict!

Numbers 21:5 - 6

ESV - 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food. 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 24 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would take issue with the premise of God being unjustly intolerant of the people's complaining. To me, the five factors that would have contributed most to God's fully-warranted anger would have been:

1) the continuous, repeated nature of the people's complaining, no matter how (or how often) God provided for their needs;

2) their ongoing, willful disregarding or "selective amnesia" of the numerous times that God had met their past needs through miraculous means; 

3) their complaints (even after He had helped them) about the "quality" of His help, as when they found fault with the taste of the manna that God had given them (Numbers 21:5); 

4) their selfish, gluttonous response to the help that God did provide (as with the quail in Numbers 11);

5) (especially, in my view) their lack of faith (which it would have been impossible -- based on repeated past evidence -- to characterize as "blind" faith) in God's ability to care for them and protect them in the future, particularly since there was always ongoing visible evidence (through signs such as the pillar of cloud or fire that continually followed them) of God's discernible presence directly among them.

January 24 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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