Rita and I were living in San Diego when the prophetic ministry of Keith Green took the contemporary Christian music scene by storm. I still listen to some of his songs. One of them is the title of this blog.
This morning, I was reading the chapter in Israel’s exodus story that inspired Keith’s song: Numbers 11. Unfortunately, there were many chapters just like it in Israel’s story. The heading for Numbers 11 in my Bible says it all… The People Complain.
They complained about three things:
Their place… they didn’t like where they were. I’m afraid I do exactly the same thing for at least eight months of the year here in the rainy Northwest.
Their provision… they didn’t like what they were eating. Our consumer-oriented culture is determined to make us unsatisfied with what we have and forever wanting something more or different or new.
Their promise… they refused to take hope in God’s promise of where He was taking them and His guidance and protection along the way.
At the end of the day, God gave them what they were craving but sent judgment with it. One translation of Psalm 106:15 says that the judgment was “leanness in their soul.“
This is just my take on “leanness,” but I think it means a wasting sense of ingratitude that eventually takes over all of your life… and you end up dying alone in a desert somewhere.
Interesting, that the place where the quail incident happened during Israel’s exodus was Kibroth-hattaavah, which means “graves of craving.”
What is the antidote to complaining?
Gratitude… for the place God has you, right now.
Gratitude… in the provision of God in your life, right now.
Gratitude… for the promise of God that propels you onward, even though, right now, you may not see it.
Paul writes to the Ephesian Christians, “…be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs… giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-20