Now the people complained …Verse 1 (NIV)
I have always thought of myself as a positive person. It seems however, that the older I get the less positive I have become. Or at least, if I listen to some of my family members, that must be the case as I am reminded from time to time not to be so negative. Who would have thought that was possible???
Complaining was second nature for Israel during the wilderness years. In our passage, Israel was only three days into their wilderness journey when they started to complain. They complained about their hardships and the wilderness food. They wanted something different from the manna they had to eat, day in and day out. The food they had eaten in Egypt seemed so much better.
Life, such as it is in the wilderness, can be hard, but when we complain, we fall into the devil’s trap. When we complain, we tend to make what we don’t have as being more beautiful or desirable. Did they really have it better in Egypt? Somehow the people completely forgot the hardships they had endured there as slaves. When we complain, we tend to see life in a distorted way. Grumbling flows from people who think they deserve something better.
Paul exhorts us to do everything without grumbling (Philippians 2:14). Is that even possible? Yes, when we learn to concentrate on God’s grace in Jesus. How can we complain so often when we know we are loved by God? His grace can move us from grumbling to gratitude. Gratitude is where all believers really need to be.
Lord we know that every good and perfect gift comes from you (James 1:17). Help us to be content and thankful. Forgive us when we grumble and help us to be content in you. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.