Sometimes we learn more by understanding a problem than we do when we are shown a solution.
Psalm 106 reviews four recurring errors that the people of Israel made that either disqualified them or even destroyed them all together.
You will be not surprised about the first three trespasses: idolatry, disobedience and unbelief. However, you may be taken aback to hear that Israel’s fourth serious mistake was discontent. The children of Israel missed out on God’s promises and lived half lives because they were always disgruntled.
What about me?
So how do I know if I’m a discontented person, even if it’s just at times? Psalm 106 describes three things that we do when we are discontented. In today’s blog I am going to look at the first.
Recently my husband invited me to have lunch with him. We do try and snatch time together as often as we can and this was a much-needed reprieve in the midst of a packed schedule. We met, talked and ate.
As I drove away, I realised that I had spewed negativity for virtually the entire time we were together. Nothing I said was untrue and yes, I was under a great deal of pressure at the time but there is never an excuse for grumbling. I apologised to the Lord for my attitude.
Psalms 106:24-26 says: “The people did not enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord. Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness.”
Thank God for the blood of Jesus: no-one is going to kill you because you complain! However, let’s look at this. God gave them a promise. At first they believed but then they started to doubt. Soon, they were grumbling because they didn’t like their lot.
The Lord promises a promotion or a breakthrough. At first we are full of excitement and faith but then there are delays. Now we are not so sure and start to blame God for turning His back on His promises. We tell our friends that we feel dumped.
That’s exactly what the Israelites did. God’s perfect plan for these precious people was that they would enter the promised land. However, they were constantly complaining and lost everything. The Lord raised up a new generation while they stayed – and died – in the wilderness.
Will I whine about my husband’s propensity to talk his way through my favorite films (as he did just two days ago! You see I LOVE romance but he just mocks my taste in movies.) Or do I look back in awe at how God has used this man to mould me into the woman I am today?
Psalm 106: 21-22 reveals the yearning of God’s heart: “They forgot God, their Savior, who had done such great things in Egypt— such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.”
When we grimace and grumble, we belittle all the awesome things that God has done for us. We come across as ungrateful to Him and everyone else. Complaint isn’t necessarily what we say out loud – it’s just as much about what we say on the inside.