One day when my sister was a little girl,she came back from Church.She used to go to a Catholic Shrine in our neighbourhood.I wondered whether she had learnt something from her Sunday School.So I asked her,Wendy,what did you learn today in your class?She fumbled a bit.Then I said,okay,tell me,what was your memory verse today?Then she said boldly,Philippians 2:14 ”Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”
I wasn’t familiar with the verse.I opened my Bible and found it exactly as she had said it.I was so happy for her,I lifted her up and swinged her around.From that day,I started learning slowly that God is not pleased by us complaining,murmuring,arguing and questioning.
This week we have been reading Numbers 11-15.
We see the Israelites complain in Numbers 11:1,
11 Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.
The first result of complaining,is that the Lord did not get pleased.The second result is that the Lord got angry and destroyed some of them.If you know that something will displease your Lord,its better to stop it,because if you don’t,your Lord may get angry and punish you.In this case,the Israelites lost some relatives.You will lose something dear to you if you like complaining.
In Numbers 11:4-6,we see that the Israelites were dissatisfied with the food the Lord had provided for them.
4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
They desired for more better food than the Manna the Lord had provided.,and even longed for the days they had been in Egypt.The result we see is that the Lord got annoyed again,and gave them what they wanted,but it did not sustain them.
33 But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.
Do we have to provoke the Lord to such an extent?He has provided us with manna(heavenly food) in various ways.We need to be satisfied with what God has given us now,because in his wisdom,he finds it useful for us now.For instance, if you are single like me,be satisfied with your current situation,you are still blessed with good health,siblings,parents,Church family,-the Lord himself loves you!If you start craving for a spouse badly,the Lord may just give you what you want,but the marriage will not hold or sustain,because it was given to you in anger.So stop nagging the Lord that you want a spouse,he already knows,but he wants you to reach somewhere first(Canaan),before he gives you the spouse you wish for.
In Numbers 12:1,we find Miriam and Aaron were not satisfied with the authority of Moses over them.
2 So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.
Their complaint led to Miriam being struck with a terrible disease,leprosy,and being banished from the camp for one week.Had she known,she wouldn’t have spoken against Moses.Who is your spiritual authority?Be careful not to speak against them,if you do,you may suddenly get terribly sick or even something worse may happen to you.In the Church,you will find such people,if you can’t correct them,keep away from them.
In Numbers 14:2,we see the people murmuring against their leaders,Moses and Aaron.
2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!
And the Lord took it personally,Verse 27,
27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.
When we murmur against our leaders,it shows our lack of respect to the authority God has given us.
The result is the Israelites who complained never reached the promised land,with the exception of Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh who had faith in God.
In all these we have seen that complaining worsens the situations.Let us not be fond of complainining and murmuring against our leaders,the situation will only get worse.
So what should we do,you may ask?
We should be satisfied with what God has provided.By being satisfied it shows that we are grateful to God,and it pleases him.
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-20
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Yes,give thanks to the Lord in that difficult situation ,it is what he desires you to do,and it will please him.
What are you thanking God for today?Please share with us in the comments below.