When the People Complained
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. ~Numbers 11:1
Upon entering a department store, a little old lady was startled when a band began to play, and a dignified executive pinned an orchid onto her dress and handed her a crisp hundred-dollar bill. She was the store’s millionth customer. Television cameras were focused onto her, and reporters began interviewing. “Tell me,” one asked, “Just what did you come here for today?” The lady hesitated for a minute, and then she answered, “I’m on my way to the Complaint Department.”
Israel had just crossed the Red Sea and was free from Egyptian bondage. They had experienced the mighty hand of God in their lives. If God could perform the kind of incredulous miracles that He did, think of how secure their future looked! Instead, Israel was complaining! They were groaning out loud about how their situation displeased them.
There is the reason for complaining.
Complaining is the outward and verbal display of a discontented and unthankful spirit. We complain when our comfort zone is disrupted. We complain if we do not have hot water in our shower, the Wi-Fi connection is too slow, the food is too salty or not salty enough, the restaurant service is slow, or the traffic is horrendous. In church, we complain if the sound system is too loud or too soft, if a special offering is taken up, if the preaching is too long, or if the restroom paper towel dispenser is empty. Sometimes, it is easier to complain than it is to compliment. We forget the following: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
There is the repercussion from complaining.
Complaining leads to a critical spirit against others, especially spiritual authority, including God. Complaining is infectious. We are told that “the people complained.” It only took a few moments for two discontented people to find each other, and then a complaining spirit swept across the entire camp. Complaining will eventually be heard. We are told that “the LORD heard it.” Do we think that God cannot hear our complaining? We are told that God was displeased. The complaining showed their impatience, indignation, and ingratitude against God, Who was their Redeemer. After all, God delivered them for free! Worse is the fact that the anger of the Lord was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burnt among them. Complaining resulted in death. Complaining will kill a relationship, kill a good church, and kill a Christian life.
There is the remedy for complaining.
Paul said, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Life will always have the unexpected, challenges, and difficulties. We must die to self and live with a spirit of thanksgiving to God. We must remember that complaining does not please God. Instead of complaining, we should find a reason to give thanks to the Lord. Instead of problems, we should see praise. Instead of complaining, we need to find a way to compliment.
Have a complaint-free God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 24-25