Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Neither Murmur Ye

“All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15

Having a merry heart is a choice we all need to make. The more we complain, the more trials we will have to go through before we learn that lesson. We’ve all seen spoiled children who’ve been given too much and are never happy. It is going through the valleys in life that teaches us to appreciate the mountain tops. We need to be grateful for God’s provisions and not murmur about what we don’t have.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

The story in Numbers chapter 11 was recorded to teach us not to complain:

"And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes." (Numbers 11:1-6)

“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:10

Sometimes we read that story and find ourselves sympathizing with the children of Israel since they had to eat the same food all the time, but the manna was not intended to be their diet for the rest of their lives. Instead of murmuring against Moses, they could have focused on their future in the promised land. We need to keep in mind that the trials in our life are often temporary.

Not only were the children of Israel short-sighted, but when they complained against Moses, it was really a complaint against God. God was the one who told Moses to lead them out of Egypt, and the manna was provided by God.

“Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.” Numbers 11:10

Not only is murmuring a sin that displeases the Lord, but it also affects other people. Just as Moses was displeased when the people complained, the people around you are also discouraged. When you make others miserable, they treat you poorly, and your situation gets even worse. Sometimes we have legitimate problems, but there is a difference between a murmur and a prayer request.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

When we have a need, we ought to pray and ask God for it, but we need to be careful not to express ingratitude. If you have a legitimate complaint, turn it into a prayer, and don’t forget to praise God for what he has already given you. Don’t be selfish in your prayer requests either:

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:2-3

We don’t learn to be content by getting everything we want. Contentment is achieved when we learn to appreciate what we have and trust the Lord to know what is best for us. Don’t be that person that discourages others by seeing the glass as half empty. We need to appreciate the manna that God gives us and realize that there are even better things to come.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Here is a sermon on Murmuring and Complaining.

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