“And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it.” Numbers 11:1
The book of Numbers is replete with references to the complaints of the nation of Israel. On most of the occasions when this discontent arose, it was vented against the leaders of the people. Yet the solemn fact is that the murmuring was actually against the Lord. Unjust murmurings against God’s men are regarded in heaven as a rebellion against the Lord Himself.
How terrible is this sin! It is the basest ingratitude. What wonders God had wrought for Israel in their exodus from Egypt, but how quickly they forgot! Scarcely had they left their bondage when the first signs of revolt appeared, and though the Lord was longsuffering, the discontent continually surfaced from their hearts. In the book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit shows us the real nature of murmuring. He indicates that it arises from an evil heart of unbelief. Referring to the rebelling Israelites at Kadesh, Paul concludes that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Heb. 3:19).
To murmur against God is to doubt His wisdom. Every time Israel complained, they questioned the wisdom of God in bringing them out of Egypt. Indeed, they openly expressed that doubt. To murmur is to doubt God’s love. In effect, as they complained, the Jews were saying that the Lord did not love them. To murmur is to doubt God’s power, His providence, and His promises. All these were called into question each time Israel complained, and they still are when that spirit emerges among us.
Murmuring is a crippling sin. It robs us of the blessing of the Lord. It causes us to forfeit the enjoyment of Christ and all His covenant mercies. It will leave us wandering in a spiritual wilderness. It will rob us of the joy of going on to take the land set before us. Has this sin taken root in your heart? If so, repent of it and flee to Christ for cleansing. He will forgive you and give you victory over it.
Quote: Complain without cause, and you will have cause to complain. – Thomas Taylor