They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:…
I. A GOOD MAN SUFFERING FOR THE WRONGS OF A COMMUNITY (vers. 32, 33; Numbers 20:3, 10, 13).
1. The conduct of bad men has a strong tendency to disturb the moral temper of the good.
(1) By disgusting the moral tastes.
(2) By shaking the faith.
(3) By disturbing self-control.
2. God holds the best men responsible for the loss of their moral temper. "So that it went ill with Moses for their sakes." He lost by it. Difficult as it may be for a good man to keep his temper undisturbed, it is his duty to do so, and under God he can do so. "In patience he should possess his soul." He should "trust in Him that liveth for ever." "None of these things move me," said Paul.
II. A COMMUNITY PURSUING ITS COURSE TO DESTRUCTION.
1. Instead of destroying the peoples, as God commanded, they fraternized with them (vers. 34, 35).
2. Instead of serving the one true living God, they engaged in the worship of idols (vers. 36-38).
Parallel VersesKJV: They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: