Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Grumbling and Rumbling

Several days ago, I was listening to a conversation between two people that shocked me to say, the least. In fact, it was very difficult for me not to jump into the middle of the conversation. I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping on their conversation, but I couldn’t help but hear them due to their loudness. Others around me also seemed a little shocked by what they were saying.

I am sure you are now wondering what they were saying that shocked not only me but also those around me. Without going into too much of the details, the individuals were discussing why we were going through this pandemic and global financial calamity. Several theories were thrown out for discussion, but the one that shocked me had to do with God. They wondered why God was withholding all of His blessings.

Let me ask you how you would answer the questions that these two were throwing out for debate. Some would be offended by the whole discussion and the mere thought that anyone could even consider whether or not God would withhold any or all of His blessings is unthinkable. Some would begin to wonder why a loving, caring God would do something like this.

This very question always comes up when things don’t exactly go our way. It is easy to love God when things are great and everyone is happy. When the winds shift, we tend to shift as well. We seem to turn away from God or begin to question His love for us.

When you consider the Hebrew children of old and how they were led out of bondage by God’s servant, Moses, they grumbled and rumbled almost every step of the way. When they had plenty to eat and drink, they were happy. But, when things changed by even the slightest of measure, then they began to question not only Moses’ leadership but also wondered about God. I am sure that some, if not most, wondered whether or not they were on a fool’s errand and just wandering around the desert aimlessly with no destination in mind. God promised them a land that would be theirs, but where was it? They wanted the easy way to the promised land. They didn’t want to wait for it or have any layovers. They wanted to go straight from bondage to perfumed homes and a land full of milk and honey. In short, they wanted paradise without any work or hardship.

Even when they had enough to eat, they complained that they didn’t get the variety they were used to when they were slaves in Egypt. Think of what we often complain about when it comes to food. Our children often say it for us. They often say things like, “What! Pizza again? We had that for the last two nights.”

In chapter eleven of the Book of Numbers we read the same comment in just a slightly different way. Moses writes, “Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. ‘Oh, for some meat!’ they exclaimed. We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!

God had provided manna for them to eat everyday, but they were unhappy because that was all they had to eat. If you remember the story of the manna, God had told them not to hoard or to store any of it. Each day the Lord would provide it for the children to eat. But, what did they do? They hoarded and stored it and didn’t believe that God would provide for them. Soon, they discovered that the manna went bad. All they had to do was to trust in God, but they, like a lot of people, wondered if they should.

Later in the chapter, Moses writes, “Now the Lord sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground. So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels! They spread the quail all around the camp to dry. But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague.

As Christians, we are blessed by the Lord our God daily. Each day that we awake from slumber is a blessing. Each heartbeat and breath is a blessing. Everything we receive is a blessing. But, what do we often do? We complain that what we received isn’t exactly what we wanted.

We sometimes act as spoiled children. Even when all of our needs are met daily, we grumble and rumble about one thing or another. I have heard the prayers of some. In one breath, they thank God for his blessings and in the very next start asking for more. Don’t get me wrong. I, too, have found myself doing the same thing. I have grumbled and rumbled about what I have received as a blessing. I, too, have asked for more even when God provided for my daily needs. It is at that very moment that we need a big dose of reality to help us remember that God provides for us daily and is in total and complete control of our lives.
When I find myself starting to wander, I go back to the scripture and read 2nd Chronicles again to check my spiritual compass and make sure it is pointing to my spiritual true north. 

In chapter seven of 2nd Chronicles, the author writes down the words of the Lord. God says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

When we think of being wicked, we often think of big sins, but all disobedience is sinful and wicked. When we grumble and rumble, it is just the start of our journey away from God. It just takes the first steps down that path for us to start a journey that can only lead to destruction. But, if we stop ourselves and remember that the Lord provides everything that we need daily to live, we can continue in our daily walk with Him.

How easy is it to return to that heavenly daily walk with the Lord? It is very easy. All it takes is calling upon Him and humbling ourselves before Him. By seeking His face and praying, we take our first steps back to that closer walk with Him.

As you go through this week, thank God for all of His blessings and try not to grumble and rumble about not getting exactly what you want. Remember, God knows the true desires of your heart and He will provide for your needs. But, when you begin to go down that other path, the one that leads away from the Lord, stop and reset your spiritual compass and make sure it is pointing to your spiritual true north. When you seek His face, pray and humble yourself, I guarantee that He will forgive and restore you so that you can and will stand firm in His grace daily.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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