10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. — 1 Cor. 10:10 NLT
As Christians, we don’t live lifestyles of continual sinning but since none of us are perfect, we still sin. We commit sins of omission when we fail to move or speak when the Holy Spirit tells us to go or to speak to someone about Jesus. We commit sins of omission when we don’t help those around us when we have the resources available to help them. We also commit sins of commission when we fear, worry or grumble. If God had written more than ten commandments, the next three might well have been “thou shalt not fear”, “thou shalt not worry” and “thou shalt not grumble”. While they are not official commandments, when we read verses that contain words such as “have I not told you”or “God said” or “Jesus said” that should make them official enough for us to obey them. The grumbling that the Israelites did that caused God to destroy them was their continual complaining about God’s provisions for them and the leaders He had chosen for them. Well, yeah, we say, but worrying, fearing and grumbling are just natural things. While that is true, therein lies the issue that God has with us when we do it. He has given us access to the resurrection power that enables us to live above the natural. When we refuse to access that power and live the abundant life, are we not refusing the gift God gave us at the cross?
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. — Psalm 42:8 NLT
This Psalm was written by the descendants of Korah. Korah, a cousin of Moses, was the one who led the rebellion against Moses during the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. He was the leader of the group that was killed when the earth opened up and swallowed all of the rebels. Not all of the sons of Korah rebelled. There was a remnant left to carry on the family name. This family had experienced both the wrath of God and His loving kindness. From these experiences, we can deduce that they understood that it is okay to complain to God as long as it is done in a respectful way. Just as this Psalm begins with how much they long for the goodness of God, then it proceeds to alternately complain and remember the blessings of God.
When we are complaining to God, it is good to mix in a little worship with the whining. It is good to recount the times He has blessed us and thank Him for those times. The writers of this Psalm question themselves. What reason do they have to be sad and discouraged ? We need to ask the same question and arrive at the same conclusion they did. If we put our faith and our hope in God, we won’t be sad and discouraged, but we will be filled with joy and praise for God and His goodness. We will long for His presence just as a thirsty deer longs for a drink of cool water. God’s presence is like an oasis in a desert of depression. Spend time in that oasis, drink deeply from the healing springs and thank Him for His goodness.