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Monday, 12 October 2015

NUMBERS 11: Stop complaining!

Hello friends! Welcome to week 6 of our studies, and today we are back in the book of Numbers. In chapter 10, we read about how the Lord led the children of Israel by day and by night through the wilderness, further away from the danger of the Egyptians and closer to the promised land. He fed them with the heavenly manna and took gracious care of them. So of course you can imagine the praise and thanksgiving that should have been going up before the LORD.

But instead what do we read? Right in the very first verse of chapter 11 these words are recorded,
"And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD." 
Notice that the word 'when' is in italics which means it was not in the original Hebrew but was put there to make good grammatical sense, so it literally reads
"And the people complained, it displeased the LORD." 
Here we are, with God looking after His people, preserving them for great things, giving them the best of food, surrounding them with His presence and all they can do is complain. Oh dear, did that strike a chord with anyone? It certainly did with me. We have so much to be thankful for, so many good and wonderful things in our lives to give thanks for; we probably have more than a good many other people in the world, and what can we often be found doing? COMPLAINING! Moaning because things are just not as perfect as we would like, or because something hasn't worked out the way we had planned, or worse, like the Israelites here (v.5) wishing for something we had in our past (perhaps even in our unsaved days) even though we know it wasn't that good in reality. Look at verse 5. They were looking back at the 'cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions and the garlic'. None of these foods have any substance to them. But now God was giving them the lovely manna which was wholesome and filling and they were crying because they preferred the past. We need to be very careful that we aren't living in the past. So often we can look back to when things may have seemed better, just because they are over now and we can only see them through rose-coloured glasses. The ungrateful Israelites seem to have easily forgotten the beatings they received under the hand of Egyptian tyranny, the hardships, the persecution and the murder they faced. Like those foods mentioned in verse 5, their lives were empty before the Lord delivered them. So were our lives, before the Lord delivered us from sin. Let us not forget what He has done for us and how much He has blessed us. Let's not forget to give Him the praise He truly deserves, instead of moaning and complaining. Let's be grateful and happy in Christ!

Hugs, Karen x

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