Happy Labor Day Lighthouse Sisters! AND Brothers!
I AM SO EXCITED! This week’s devotion is yet another Jeremiah Generation Voice – Grace Steffy. It’s a tough word, but a TRUE word for us ALL. Read on, be challenged, respond to the Word, and be blessed! Marcy
“Don’t Be An Israelite”
by Grace Steffy
Complaining. We all do it, though it’s something we should not be proud of. For some people, complaining is their default, and you can’t talk to them without their mother-in-law, neighbor, and walmart cashier coming up in the conversation.
The ultimate complainers in the history of complaints EVER were the Israelites. There was no off button. They couldn’t stop whining, and because of this they lost what was promised to them.
Here’s the thing with the Israelites, they were given so many chances. Each time they would complain, there would be a consequence, but then they would pretty much immediately begin to gripe again. The book of Numbers is riddled with complaints, destruction, and then more complaints.
The Israelites were so critical, that a whole subheading in chapter 11 of Numbers was called The People Complained. The path that the people took is easily displayed in the first few verses,
“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of their camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down.” Numbers 11:1, 2 (ESV)
They continued to gripe and complain. They complained about the manna God had given them, dwelling in the past, wishing they were still in slavery in Egypt because there, they had meat. They complained about the leadership God had put into position, and they complained that they were not strong enough to enter the land God had promised them.
All of those complainers ended up dying in the desert, and they never got to enter the promised land.
“‘How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness.’” Numbers 14:27-33 (NIV)
Complaining shows a resistance to change.
Complaining shows weakness in your patience.
Complaining shows a lack of trust in God’s planning and timing.
So don’t complain.
Too often we dwell in the past, and in how things used to be. When a change is not the change we want, or is scary to us, we complain about it.
When we complain, we could lose everything in a blink.
It was because the Israelites complained that they lost their blessing. God said their generation would die in the desert, and not live to see the promised land, but instead their children would.
Don’t be a part of a complaining generation.
A complaining generation is a dying generation.
Complaining is a distraction; an obstacle in the way of getting to the promise God has for you.
So don’t complain.
Don’t be a part of a dying generation.
Don’t lose sight of what was promised.
Don’t miss out on the plans God has for you.
When you feel like complaining, check yourself with a little PSA. – Pray, Seek, and Ask God what he wants from you. Is this simply a test? Are you being resistant to a change that needs to happen? Are you getting in the way of God’s plan for you, your life, or your family?
Don’t be like the Israelites.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NIV)