Our church has been going through the life of Moses and the Israelites. Long journey! Genesis, Exodus, Numbers. But it has been so enlightening seeing all the foreshadowing of Jesus on virtually every page. And if you have read enough of Moses’ writings, you will see one of the common themes by the Israelites. Their grumbling against God and Moses. They wanted water, they wanted food, they wanted to go back to Egypt, they didn’t want to die in the desert, giants in Canaan, on and on and on. It cost them dearly. But God’s grace was always present.
Of course, our pastors have been questioning us, what are we grumbling about? If you are honest, it doesn’t take but a minute or two to think about all the things, even recently, that have caused you to grumble against God or someone else. It is true for me for sure. As I was sitting there Sunday, the thought came to my mind that I’ve been grumbling about the intense heat with no end in sight. I was convicted. It showed me that I was not relying on God’s grace. He’s the Lord of the weather, Lord of the climate, and my Lord.
Ask yourself; is it your kids, spouse, workload, your boss, a neighbor, your weight, that old car, politicians, inflation, the church, what? I bet there may be several. I had to remind myself that I have been born again, saved by grace, that goodness and mercy had followed me all the days of my life, that I was going to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. So, Bill, what is so trivial compared to your eternal salvation that you are grumbling? I didn’t have a good answer.
What is grumbling? One definition is…the action or fact of complaining in a bad-tempered way. I read somewhere that grumbling is the hum of a fallen human heart, and often a hallmark of Christians’ indwelling sin. And that makes non-grumblers a peculiar people in this world. As Paul goes on to tell us in Philippians, those who do all things without grumbling burn like great suns in a world of darkness. I love that!
I don’t know a better place to finish this short devotional than the words of Paul to the Philippians. It spoke to me. I pray that it will speak to you also.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 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. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” (Vss. 2.14-18)
Maybe an antonym to grumbling is rejoicing. Paul would say, Go, rejoice and grumble no more!!