Rumble, Mumble, Grumble

from Lynda Lindsey

And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. Exodus 15:24-25(a)

And the people of Israel said to them, (Moses and Aaron) “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” … …“‘Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your grumbling.’” Exodus 16:3; 9(b)

“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” Exodus 17:6(a)

Rumble, mumble, grumble. Grumbling is, by many, considered to be a right; however, to holy God, grumbling is a serious offense. Like spitting in an enemy’s face, grumbling heaps disdain and contempt on God. To grumble is to call God our enemy and a liar, to accuse Him of not caring for us nor providing for our needs. Grumbling criticizes God’s right to sovereignly rule as He sees fit. Grumbling, harboring anger and bitterness at God over perceived unfair treatment from His hand, eats away like ingested poison, affecting one physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Grumblers, focused on the past, live as if there is no hope or faith; life was better back then, back there, and not even God can change things now. Faith, however, is forward focused. God is faithful, He has been faithful, He will be faithful. He is trustworthy and He will provide for our needs, no matter our circumstances. Believers, full of faith even in fearful circumstances, allow God to rearrange their priorities and expectations thus experiencing God’s merciful deliverances in fresh, new, ways. God’s intent is to build our faith, to grow our trust; He purposefully designs our life circumstances to that end. 

Three days after God parted the sea and the Israelites escaped Pharaoh’s army, God’s people complained about water. Then it was food. And then another problem with water. Each time God miraculously provided. Bitter water became sweet, they dined on manna and quail, and again were given refreshing water. Just as God made bitter water sweet, He will heal the bitterness that poisons us. We must, however, relinquish our expectations of how God should behave! Submit, draw near, listen diligently, obey, do what’s right in His eyes. Assuredly, you will experience God in a fresh new way!