Numbers 11:15 – “So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.”
One can see why Moses was in some state of despair. He hadn’t chosen the people. He hadn’t made them whine like that. None of this was his idea…and yet he was where God had carefully, painstakingly, and deliberately placed him.
I view Moses’ prayer to be the direct equivalent of “If You are going to do this to me, the just kill me now.” That’s a bold prayer…because God answers prayer. What drove him to such a prayer?
I believe it is because of this phrase, found at the end of verse 15: “…and do not let me see my wretchedness.”
At the age of 51, I can say from personal experience that nothing shows you your own lack of ability and your own set of weaknesses and flaws like being in charge and responsible for others. I don’t know about others, but I can honestly say I do not enjoy that intimate personal realization that I am truly nothing without the Lord. I don’t think Moses did either. In fact, as a race, we will go to great lengths to avoid that particular view of ourselves. Moses would rather have died than see it yet again, I suspect.
Yet, God is merciful. He answers Moses’ prayer in the negative – Moses lived. In fact, Moses we know finally reached the Lord, because he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. That’s certainly incentive to be patient and do what the Lord wants me to do.