So as a recovering whiner, I quote Phil 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
400 years of slavery.
God’s great rescue through Moses.
Destruction of Pharaoh’s army (He “smashes the enemy” Exodus 15:34).
And The Whining Begins:
Exodus 15: “We need water!” God provides.
Exodus 16: “Wish we had died in Egypt! We have no meat or bread!” God provides manna and quail. Manna every day after that.
Exodus 17: “We’re thirsty! Are you trying to kill us?” God provides water.
Numbers 11 (still water, manna every day, led by pillar of cloud by day, pillar of fire by night): “400 years of total enslavement in Egypt was just fine because the food was so much better than we have being free and following God!” God sends a swarm of quail (not coots, blackbirds or grackles – the best of the best).
Numbers 14: God is holding out the Promised Land. It’s time to go in. But they refuse to believe God can give it to them. They have become so hardened against God’s goodness (not hard against His justice or discipline), that they cannot receive it. The whole community cries all night long saying “if only we had died in Egypt or the wilderness,” and they rebel against Him.
God is giving them the great blessing He promised.
But in their whining and complaining they have become so hardened in their hearts, they are even hard against His goodness.
And so God makes them wander the wilderness for 40 years. Until all who hardened their hearts die in the wilderness.
God wanted to give them the Promised Land, but they couldn’t receive it because they had hardened their hearts against His goodness. They said, in affect, “God can’t deliver.” And so He didn’t.
Many times we get in a tight spot, or a hard place, and even though we see God at work around us, even though we’ve seen Him at work in our lives, we say in affect “God can’t deliver.”
It reinforces my lack of trust in Him, until my heart gets so hard that I can’t trust Him.
As the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested Me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried My patience, even though they saw My miracles for forty years.” Hebrews 3:7-9 (NLT)
Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year.
Pharaoh: “Moses, ask your God to get rid of the plague of frogs.”
Moses: “Ok. When?”
Pharaoh: “Hmmmmm….tomorrow.” Exodus 8:10
What!?!?! That’s crazy! Tomorrow??? Why not today?? How much longer do you want to sleep with the frogs?!!?!?!
TODAY when you hear His voice don’t harden your heart… Hebrews 3:7
Instead of whining, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess. 5:16-17
Every time I rejoice, pray, and give thanks to God:
It reinforces my trust in Him.
It reinforces my thankfulness to Him.
It opens the eyes of my heart so I can see His goodness and glory.
No whining, but praising. It will do your heart good.