Wednesday, May 26

Complaining Is Unreasonable

In college (BJU), we had signs on the dorm rooms which read, "Griping Not Tolerated." Oh, that it could so easily be controlled! Really, it just doesn't hold up in the courts of God to complain, especially about what He has ordered. God lovingly took care of his children as they wandered in the desert of faithlessness by providing for their immediate food needs through miraculous "bread" from heaven. Deuteronomy 8 explains the theological purpose of the manna. It was to teach them to depend on, yea, to listen to God. 
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:2-3).
Manna (literally, "what is it?") was intended NOT just for life-sustaining food, but more importantly as a means to improve Israel's faith. Faith always trumps need. Yet, it is so often through faith that we find our needs met! Give a man what he wants and you take care of him for a moment. Teach him to cry out to God in faith and you give him what he needs for a lifetime! Honestly, man does not need food, at least not like he needs God . . . and this, more than he knows! God is abundantly good to all mankind whenever he forces us to confess this truth.

On at least one occasion, the Israelites griped about having to eat the miraculous supply of manna:
Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”  (Numbers 11:4-6) 
How unreasonable is this! What a tremendous burden was Egypt on all of them. Unbearable! Yet, when the eye goes blind to divine Providence, it reinterprets miraculous blessings into intolerable conditions! So irreversibly evil is such an attitude that this may explain (on one hand) why God killed so many of them! (On the other hand, God needs no explanations, for all his ways are just and right. -Deut. 32:4).This is an egregious attack against the love and wisdom of God himself.

So, next time you're tempted to complain, think twice! Paul (in the Spirit) rightly warns:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)
Shine as lights in this world, which you most certainly will if you're not known for being a grumbler. 

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oh man, this post is quite convicting. Thanks for the wise words. Love that you link to your FB page. I don't forget to look as easily when it's right in front of me.;)

I'll work on that complaining thing...SO hard. I love you!