By Not Known
Do you grumble against God? It’s quite common for us to grumble when he does
not give us what we want and when we want it. Or when he takes things from us
that we want. Or when he sends hardship and challenge.
Let’s think about our grumbling. Israel grumbled on her journey from Sinai to
Canaan and we have one example as our morning text today (Num 20:1 -12). Israel
forgot who they were and where they had come from, along with what God had
promised and had already done for them. They were like little children in their
focus on the immediate and their whine about the absence of life’s luxuries.
Words are cheap, but grumbling comes with a price tag. Israel and her key
leaders forfeited God’s promise and missed his promised land (Num 14:20-35;
20:12-13, 1 Cor 10:10).
Why is grumbling against God such a big deal? It reflects a lack of faith in his
promises and a lack of contentment in his provision. It invariably leads to
disobedience as we try to secure for ourselves what we do not trust God to
provide. Grumbling reflects a view that we know better than God what we need
and what is good for us. And on it goes.
There is another way. Paul writes on it in Phil 4:4-12. Before you read it,
remember that Paul had much to grumble about. He was beaten, gaoled,
slandered and denied much because of his service to Christ.
What È§re we to bring instead of grumbling against God? Thanksgiving for what
God has done (v6), prayerful dependence on his provision (v6), a focus on what is
good (vv8-9) and, above all, contentment with what ‘is’, however much or little
it may be (vv11 -12).
Notice carefully that Paul is not giving a secret of how to be contented. Rather
he is telling us that the secret is to be contented. Contentment reflects faith in
God’s wisdom, provision and promises. It is also a path to peace (v7) and the
antidote to anxiety (v6).
So, next time we are tempted to grumble against God, let’s take ‘time out’. Is
this matter really worth the grumble, especially when measured against all that
God has done for us? Instead of grumbling, let’s develop the habits of
thankfulness and contentment. God has pledged his faithfulness to us in Jesus,
and that should silence our petty gripes.