In this cynical world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in complaining. We complain about the weather, our government, our jobs, our friends, our living conditions and even our spouses. What we do not realize with all this complaining, we are vocalizing charges against the One who cares for us. The Lord is the one who provides sunshine and rain, our government. He has given us the ability to make a living to support our families. He has supplied us with friends, shelter, clothing, food, including our mates, those who are to be our biggest supporters.
When the Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel, (Genesis 32:22-28), I believe it was it was a prophecy knowing the struggles and the challenges he would face with this tribe. Israel means, “One who struggles with God” or another definition, “God Struggles.”
As we read the story of the covenant people, otherwise known as descendants from Abraham, we learn that it was no walk in the park for the Lord. They were stubborn and stiff-necked group that were constantly at odds with everyone, including themselves. Very few obeyed the commandments of the Lord or heeded the warnings of the Prophets. They easily turned away from the Lord to follow false gods.
In one of the most powerful stories in scripture tells how the Lord delivered the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Most people are familiar with the ten plagues of Egypt and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, but you may not know that the Lord was about to reach his limit with these complaining, defiant and unruly people.
After all the powerful and miraculous signs the Lord performed, they whined and complained all the way to Mount Sinai. When Moses went to meet with God at Mount Sinai, the people quickly reverted to their old sinful ways and they crafted a golden calf. (Exodus 32:1-6).
Because of their continued complaining and disobedience, the Lord rendered this decision, “Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron. How long will this wicked nation complain about me? I have heard everything the Israelites have been saying. Now tell them this: “As surely as I live, I will do to you the very things I have heard you say. I the Lord have spoken! You will die here in the wilderness, none of you twenty years or older and were counted in the census will enter the land I swore to give you” (Number 14: 26-30 NLT).
The Lord keeps his promises, but how we respond to him may make the difference of when we receive it. How about you, do you find yourself constantly bickering and complaining? Does your Christian life feel like a wilderness? If so, then you have not entered into the promised land of rest. Jesus came to give us hope and rest. Our lives should be a continual offering of praise and thanksgiving, knowing that the Lord is in complete control. When complaining begins to overwhelm you, give it to the Lord and ask him to change your heart about that particular situation. The Lord will give you the strength to praise him when your heart is set free.
“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” (Psalms 19:12-13 NLT).
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