Stop Complaining, Part 2

July 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm (My ramblings)

So many Israelites, so many complaints! I guess I can’t blame them though, I think I’d be whining too if all I did was move around following a cloud in the desert eating manna all day! It’s in our sin nature, we love to complain. In many ways, we are no different than the Israelites. I like to think that if I saw all the miracles and wonders God did for them, (saving their first born sons, parting the Red Sea, feeding them manna, etc) I would have had more faith than they did and not have been so disobedient. But then I think, wait a minute, I’ve seen tons of miracles! I am a miracle! I should have been dead several times over yet God brought my broken body back to life. Does that make me more obedient? Why is it that instead of rejoicing in who God is and what He is going to do in our lives during trials, we whine about our circumstances and look for a way out? James 1:2 states very clearly what we are supposed to do, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” Pure joy? Yep, pure joy or else what happened to the Israelites could happen to you!

Numbers 21:4-9 tells us that while the Israelites were wandering around, they grew impatient (roll eyes, here they go again). They spoke against God and Moses and once again they ask why they were brought out of Egypt to die in the desert. They whine about not having bread or water and they actually say they detest the miserable manna (the heavenly food sent by God). What did the Lord do? He sent venomous snakes among them and they bit the people and many of them died. So the people come to Moses and confess their sin of speaking against him and God and they ask Moses to pray that the Lord will take the snakes away. Moses prays for the people and the Lord tells him to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Interesting…anyways, it worked! When the people who were bit looked at the bronze snake, they didn’t die, they lived.

I love the fact that as soon as they repented and confessed their sin, God healed them. He consistently does this throughout Scripture. Over and over again we see the patterns of the Israelites; they sin, they confess, God rescues them. He does this today with us as well. We sin, sometimes the same ones over and over again, yet if “we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I love that verse. It was the second verse I memorized as a new Christian because I couldn’t believe that God loved me that much. The first verse I memorized was Romans 5:8, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Wow, WHILE we were sinners, not all cleaned up and sitting in a church pew waiting for Him but while we were committing horrible sins against Him.

Makes me wonder how I could ever complain or grumble against Him or any situation I might be in. I have to ask myself the question, did I end up here because of my disobedience or is the Lord trying to make me more like Him? For me, it’s usually one or the other. I am grateful for His mercy and kindness on me by not sending me snakes!

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