Numbers 11-13, Psalm 43
Grumbling and complaining is widespread and encroaches every area of our lives. Whether it be politics, our job, our families, or sports it is widespread and contagious. It’s interesting, at work, people have a different complaint depending on the day. It’s either Monday with a roll of the eyes, Wednesday or hump day, or TGIF for Friday. Essentially complaining their whole week of work away. On weekends, no longer able to complain about work they complain about having to run around with their kids to different activities, or that the list of chores is too large, or they complain about having to go to church and various aspects about church from the pastor, to the congregation. Finally, away from the routine, on vacation, people complain about the cramped airline seats, the weather, the accommodations or the food. When people are young they complain about school, tests, friends, their inability to find a job. Towards the end of life people complain about their health and boredom. We can read the book of Numbers in disbelief at their thanklessness, but are we honestly any different?
In today’s reading we read in Number 11:1, “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused…”. Do we honestly believe that God either doesn’t hear or care about our constant complaining? In chapter 11 they complain about their lust for more food. They are complaining about God’s provision. In chapter 12 we see Aaron and Miriam grumbling out of pride, wanting to be par with Moses. They are complaining about God’s organizational leadership and choices. In chapter 13, which will continue into chapter 14, the people complain of the task before them in entering the Promised Land and destroying the people groups already living there. They are complaining about and doubting God’s ability to protect them. Satan’s playbook never changes. Back in the Garden of Eden, the first sin in chapter 3 of Genesis revolved around the lie that somehow God was holding back, essentially not trusting God. We read in Genesis 3:1,5, the serpent said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?…”For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When we complain or grumble now, it is no different. We are essentially not trusting God, somehow believing that if we were given the reins over our lives, we would somehow do better.
1 Corinthians 10:1-11 discusses how all of the things that we are reading about in the time of Moses should serve as examples for us today. We read the conclusion of this section in 1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” That’s why going through the entirety of Scripture is so important. Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” We must always keep our trust in God, no matter our trials. For those of us who belong to Christ there are no coincidences, He always knows better. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His Purpose”. With the examples of all of those who have gone before us in Scripture along with an honest appraisal of our lives and how we live it, let us exude a Spirit of thankfulness rather than one of complaining. We are not victims to our circumstances. God continues to bless us, how often do we say thank you rather than desiring something else?
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: