Are you a grumbler? Complainer?
Many of us are…
We see the impact of the Israelites’ grumbling and complaining in the book of Exodus. God repeatedly provided for them, always in miraculous ways. And yet, over and over, the Israelites grumbled, complained, and whined. They didn’t like the water. They didn’t like the food. They wanted to go back to Egypt where they remembered only the good things (the leeks, the onions, the garlic, the fish….) and totally forgot the bad stuff (slavery).
Like a good parent, YHWH used increasing discipline to try to teach His people that He really could provide for them. But eventually, there were plagues and curses. Unfortunately, they never did learn.
Perhaps the worst part was that they brought the ultimate curse upon themselves. Over and over the people whined, “It would have been better to stay in Egypt (as slaves) rather than die in the wilderness!” After receiving the bad report from the 12 spies, they decided to fire Moses, select a new leader, and return to Egypt. YHWH was NOT happy. He sent a plague to destroy the spies who gave the bad report and sentenced the rest of the nation to wander in the wilderness for 40 years – one year for every day the spies were in the land (Num. 14:34). He also sentenced every person over the age of 20 (except Caleb and Joshua) to die in the wilderness. They would not enter the Promised Land (Num. 14:29).
This was NOT the Lord’s intent for his people. His plan was for them to leave Egypt, form a nation, and settle in the Promised Land. However, the people had free will, and they used that free will to heap word curses upon themselves. The result? “As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you” (Num. 14:28). He gave them exactly what they grumbled about.
How About You? Are You a Grumbler?
So how about you? Are you in the habit of complaining about your circumstances? Grumbling when things don’t go well? Whining when you don’t get your way? I would encourage you to think about it, repent, make a U-turn, and begin to express gratitude, even when things don’t go your way. Trust that God’s plan is a good plan.
May this Thanksgiving Day be the day you break the habit of complaining and begin to practice gratitude. I had the honor of bringing the message at International Bible Church in Stafford, TX last week. I go into a lot more detail in this sermon. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/3M4SdoYoFBk