Stop Complaining!

June 29, 2011 at 5:48 am (My ramblings)

I’ve been reading through the Book of Numbers lately and it never ceases to amazes me just how much the Israelites grumble. Numbers 20:1-12 tells us the story of them complaining about not having water to drink. I can’t really blame them, I’d probably be whining too! So of course, what do they do? They turn on their leaders and it says they “gathered in opposition against Moses and Aaron.” Isn’t it so much easier to blame other people when we don’t get what we want? Anyways, they start whining about life being better in Egypt  where they had figs, pomegranates, cucumbers and leeks (they must have forgotten the whole slavery and oppression issue).

So Moses goes to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and falls face down to inquire of the Lord. The Lord tells him to take the staff, gather the people together and speak to the rock and water will flow from it so the people and their livestock can drink from it. Moses and Aaron gather the people in front of the rock and instead of speaking to the rock, he says, “listen, you rebels, must we bring water out of this rock?”   He then raised his arm and struck the rock twice with the staff. Water gushed out and everyone was happy. Well, almost everyone…God was not. He tells Moses and Aaron, “because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”  Wow, that was harsh. Just because Moses didn’t follow exactly what God said, God was not going to let him into the Promised Land. 40 years of wandering in the desert, listening to all the complaining and whining, and he doesn’t get to enter. It’s a strong punishment for an offense that doesn’t seem so bad, right? Wrong!

God wants our absolute obedience, He doesn’t want partial obedience. Disobedience always has consequences. I know for me it’s easy to feel like my trials are the result of someone else or the fall of mankind or whatever else I can blame, when in reality, many times they come from my lack of obedience. I think an important thing to note from this portion of Scripture is that God does not like complaining! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “rejoice always, pray continually, gives thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  We should be focused on the things of the Lord (rejoicing, praying and giving thanks) instead of expending energy complaining about our circumstances. I know it’s easier at times to whine because it’s almost second nature but when we do what it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 and take our thoughts captive, then and only then can we make them obedient to Christ. Romans 12:2 gives us another anecdote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There are so many portions of Scripture that deal with Israel’s complaining and the serious consequences that follow and I’ll write about those in my next post. Til then…

 

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