“Complaining impacts the complainer, those around the complainer, and the leaders. Instead of complaining, let us be grateful for what God has done and trust Him for what He will do.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, provided water and manna to sustain them, wiped out the ruthless Egyptian pharaoh and his army, established a covenant so that He would be their God and they would be His nation, and then He dwelt among them in the tabernacle.
All of this occurred within the span of about two years. Despite all these miraculous
events, the Israelites let their glass-half-empty mentality drag them into complaining just after they departed Mount Sinai.
The Israelites needed only to remember what God had done for them and tend to His Word because He promised to take care of them as His children. But that’s not what happened. As the Israelites marched along, they let their minds hone in on their dry tongues. This led them to focus on the “good old days” when they were slaves instead of the future bliss promised by God.
In the Old Testament narratives, the Apostle Paul read about God’s past work to understand God’s more recent work through the gospel of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 10:1–13, Paul mentioned the Israelites’ complaining along with other events from the exodus.
As Paul said to the believers in Colossae,
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16)
For this study, reflect on what you’ve learned and how it relates to your current season of life. Simply pause. Don’t rush. Churn the passage over in your mind and pray in light of what you read. Ask God to seal His Word in your heart.
Father, I trust You are working in me, giving me both the desire and the power to do what pleases You. I long to live as a bright light in this crooked and dark world—to do everything without complaining or arguing. Thank You for shining the light of Your Word in my life. Help me hold fast to it until the day I die or Christ returns. In His name, amen.
“It’s Time to Celebrate—Not Complain” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Changing Wanderers Into Worshippers: From the Exodus to the Promised Land. You can stream this message online anytime at insightforliving.ca/audiolibrary.