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Sermon #5216

The Lie

A Sermon on Numbers 11:4-6


Numbers 11:4-6 ESV KJV
Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. …

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Sermon Description

Why is it important to study history? In this sermon on Numbers 11:4–6 titled “The Lie,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows a powerful lesson from the Old Testament and the example of Israel in this passage. The Israelites were brought out of Egyptian slavery when God worked miracles by His sovereign hand. Not only this, but as they traveled through the desert, he provided food to sustain them and clothes that did not wear out. But they soon began to grumble against God and Moses because they were dissatisfied. They spoke of the many foods they had in Egypt, even though they were there as slaves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that modern humanity is just like Israel. It refuses to see God’s work in the world and remains ungrateful for all the blessings He has given. In its sin, humanity is like the Prodigal Son, refusing to see his blessings or hold himself accountable. Sinful people will never see themselves for who they are until the gospel works in their hearts and minds to make them new. Jesus came and died so that ungrateful sinners could be freed from sin and death. Those that believe in Christ Jesus are given a new heart and mind so that they can live as new creatures who serve God in truth.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The story of the Israelites in Numbers 11 is a perfect portrayal of the condition of mankind.
  2. The real trouble with the world is that people do not realize the cause of their problems. They cannot apply the right solution without an accurate diagnosis.
  3. The Bible provides the diagnosis for mankind's condition and the only cure. It reveals what is wrong with man and what alone can put him right.
  4. The Israelites began to lust and crave for flesh to eat. They persuaded themselves that the manna was not enough, even though God provided all their needs.
  5. Sin has made man a creature of lust and inordinate affection. Man cannot guarantee how he will feel or act from one moment to the next. He is a slave to sin and Satan.
  6. Sin has devastated man's mind. The sinner is a fool who does not think clearly or rightly.
  7. Sin has ruined man completely - body, mind and spirit. The whole man is corrupt.
  8. The Israelites were miserable and weeping but did not realize the cause was in themselves. They blamed their circumstances instead.
  9. Man never looks inward at himself. He resents any suggestion to examine himself and his sin. He makes excuses and blames others.
  10. Finding themselves unhappy, people always blame their circumstances first. They do not suspect the trouble is in themselves.
  11. Man fails to face and examine himself. He protects himself and makes excuses rather than look at his own sin.
  12. The results of this failure are: blaming circumstances, failure to examine self, ingratitude toward God, and materialism.
  13. The Israelites showed no gratitude to God for delivering them from Egypt. Man only mentions God to complain against Him, not to thank Him.
  14. The Israelites thought if they just had flesh to eat, all would be well. This is the materialistic outlook of sinful man.
  15. Man deserves only punishment and hell for his sin and rebellion against God. There is no hope in himself or the world.
  16. The only hope for man is the God he has offended, who sent Christ to die for sinners. By repenting and believing in Christ, man can be forgiven and given new life.

Old Testament

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.