Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Numbers 11:23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” (NKJV)

Another round of bitter complaining from the Israelites had begun. The Lord told Moses that the He would provide meat for the people to replace the mannah they had been eating.

The people had begun craving their old way of life in Egypt (a picture of us longing for our old sinful pleasures), and they complained loudly to Moses about their desire for tasty Egyptian food (Numbers 11).

So, the Lord responded and told Moses that He would provide meat to eat (showing yet again His patience and mercy towards our human weakness). By this time, you would think Moses would be beyond questioning or doubting God but our sin nature doesn’t give up easily. Moses exclaimed to God in so many words (Num 11.24):

“How in the world are You going to do that? There’s a couple of million people out here in the desert, in the middle of nowhere! Should we kill all the animals, or maybe gather up every fish in the sea?” To which the Lord replied in essence,

“You don’t think I can do it?
Has the Lord’s arm been shortened?”

Moses disbelief was voiced privately so God mercifully chose not to punish Moses but did sharply rebuke him by saying in modern terms “Am I now less God than I’ve already shown you?” or “Am I not capable of doing what I say?”. That’s what God meant by “has the Lord’s arm been shortened?”.

The Lord’s words were sharp and sarcastic. He replied in a way that left no doubt about His displeasure with the incredulous response from Moses.

How often do we deserve the same response? How many times has God clearly spoken and we respond in disbelief (by word or deed) for various reasons?

  • God: I will deliver you to an eternal hell if you do not believe in my Son and turn from your sin.
    Man: A loving god would not send people to hell.
    God: Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.
  • God: I will provide for your needs, you give up your life for Me.
    Man: I have to worry about storing up many possessions for a secure future.
    God: Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.
  • God: I will bless you if you will humble yourself and obey Me.
    Man: You only live once, good guys finish last, so look out for number one.
    God: Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.
  • God: I WILL…
    Man: Really? How? What if? Why? But…
    God: Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.

God doesn’t say things He doesn’t mean.
God does not make promises He won’t keep.
He does not assure us then neglect us.

God’s arm has not been shortened. He is faithful, just and trustworthy. Whatever He says He will do, will be done. No matter how difficult, no matter how apparently impossible, no matter how unbelievable… you can take God at His Word.

He is saying to us today just a surely as He spoke to Moses, “Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.” We need only to believe and trust.

God of Moses, Your arms aren’t the problem, our faith is. Help us today to truly grasp and believe that You will do exactly what You say You will do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Contemplation: What areas of your life show disbelief of God’s Word? Salvation? Money? Contentment? Worry? Has God’s ability somehow lessened, or is the fault with your faith and belief?

Application: God will do what He says He will do. Whether concerning eternity, or providing for your needs, He has spoken. He will do what He says. God is waiting on us to figure it out.

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?