What is complaining? Well if I were to define it I would say that it’s the sudden urge brought on by something you are asked to do and it is often accompanied by the following symptoms: feeling pain, dissatisfaction, resentment, having a desire to fuss, kick, murmur, mope, gripe, grumble, and whine. Use of body language is sometimes involved, rolling of the eyes, stomping of the feet, huffing and puffing. Sometimes it can be accompanied by worry, nagging, and pestering. Simply put, it is the outward expression of discontent from within.
Probably the best complainers in the Bible were the Israelites. Here are just a few of their many complaints….
“Lord, why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave?” Exodus 14:11
“There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink and we hate this wretched manna!” “Only if we had meat to eat! Why did we ever leave Egypt?” Num 21:5
“Oh how we wish we died in Egypt or even here in this wilderness!” Num 14:2
“Moses sat as usual to hear the people’s complaints against each other. They were lined up in front of him from morning till evening.” Exodus 18:13
Poor Moses! I don’t think I could have sat there all day just to hear complaints. Yipes! These people were blessed by God numerous times, yet here they are complaining from dusk till dawn? Obviously they had forgotten what God had done for them. He saved them from slavery, bondage in Egypt and from being beaten with whips. Yet here they are free from all that pain and suffering and still not satisfied with the freedom God has given them. What is up with that?
I often ask myself why is it that they complained so much. Then I got it. You see, they experienced miracle after miracle after miracle and eventually it got to the point where they were expecting them… like some sort of gift or blessing that God owed them. As a result, they became accustomed to the blessings of God and therefore became discontent complainers. So what did God do with these complaining Israelites? He allowed them to fall to their deaths in the wilderness…. not my words, but Gods…
“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complains against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, As I live, says the Lord, just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness.” Numbers 14:27-29
Because of their complaints Gods judgment was poured out on them. They refused to trust in Gods promises to provide, protect and direct them. Instead of thanking God for what they had, they complained about what God wasn’t giving them. They developed the idea that what others had was much better then what they had. They believed that, “the grass was greener on the other side.” However, they forget to note that, “if the Grass was greener, then you can bet that the water bill was higher!”
My friends, people don’t complain because they have problems…but rather… people have problems because they complain.
“And don’t grumble as some of them did [the Israelites], for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them.” 1 Corinthians 10:10
Like the Israelites, we too need to be careful not to become accustomed to the blessings God has given us. For a complainer does not stop complaining when he stops complaining; He stops complaining when he starts giving thanks as a way of life.
So let’s give thanks as a way of life! Love you all!