No one said it would be easy. I’m reading through the Book of Exodus about the Israelites. They are “out on the road” after being delivered from slavery in Egypt and are crossing the wilderness to the Promised Land. God loves His people but does not “immunize” them from trials and difficulties…as they soon discovered in the harsh desert. Their response to the challenges reveals much about their faith and character. “The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin…In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death’” (Exodus 16:1-3). We seem to think of sin in categories of severity, with some sins as really bad, and others as not so bad. Complaining is not that bad of a sin is it? After all, we’re not stealing anything or physically hurting another person. Surely, it’s such a small thing. But, I ask, if grumbling and complaining are so minor, why would God’s Word bring it to our attention again and again? Complaining takes aim at God and says, “You don’t care. You are not a good provider. You cannot be trusted.” This is serious indeed! Such whining kept Israel out of the Promised Land for 40 years. Imagine if the Israelites had prayed and asked God for help when facing their problems? Can we learn from their example and turn from the fleshly reaction of complaining? Can we learn to trust God by turning to Him in prayer, presenting our needs to our faithful Father?
Pastor Mark Boucher