Complaining in the Wilderness
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.” (Philippians 2:14, NLT)
Do you enjoy waking up early? I don’t. I emphasize with the psalmist when he writes: “I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” (Psalm 119:147, NLT)
It’s not that I’m lazy, I’m just not a “morning person”. That’s why I need to continually turn away from the temptation to complain.
Just after the Exodus, when Moses had miraculously led the Israelites out of Egypt, the Israelites sung a song of praise to the Lord for their deliverance. (See Exodus 15.) But just a few days later they encountered hardship and quickly changed their tune. The title of the next section after the Israelite’s song of praise reads “Complaining in the Wilderness,” in my Bible, which is a poignant example the way our hearts can often be fickle.
How can we guard against becoming “complainers in the wilderness”?
Think about the end of Psalm 119:147: “I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.” Throughout the Bible we are constantly reminded to remember what God has done for us. All history is truly “His story” … the story of God’s mighty acts. When we are faced with difficult times, we can reflect upon what God has already done for us, and His promises for the future which we find in His Word, because we know that God is faithful and will fulfill all that He has promised to us, including our own resurrections to eternal life in fellowship with God Himself.
I’m still not a morning person. But I try to remember that when I wake up early, that groggy feeling lasts only a few fleeting moments, and then the rest of the divinely gifted day awaits me. It’s hard to complain about a free gift, and a promise of the ultimate free gift to come.
Question: What has been bothering you lately that you need to bring to God in prayer?
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