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?
5 It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 You must recognize that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people. — Deut. 9:5, 6 NLT
It is very easy for us to read the account of the journey from Egypt to Canaan and criticize the children of Israel for all their stubbornness and lack of faith. God chose them, called them out of Egypt, provided for them and kept them safe by His own arm and great power. Their response was to moan and groan about the things they didn’t have instead of being thankful for what God was doing for them. Had it not have been for the prayers of Moses, God would have compeletely destroyed these people and started over with just the family of Moses. God reminds them that it is not because of any goodness in them that He has allowed them to come this far. It is because of the wickedness of the people that live in Canaan and the oath He has sworn to Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Let us look at our lives today. How often do we, who live in the lap of luxury compared to ninety percent of the world, moan, groan and complain? How often do we consider what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we do have? Let us honestly and truthfully consider our thoughts and how we spend our time and resources. Are we not just as stubborn and rebellious as these people were? If Jesus came to our house today, would He feel welcomed by what He sees or would He wonder if we even knew Him? If Jesus walked with us everyday, is there anything in our lifestyle that we would change? If the answer is “Yes”, then let’s not be stubborn, let’s change it today because Jesus is walking with us everywhere we go.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matt. 28:20 NLT
3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.—1 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV
As the children of Israel traveled through the desert, they began to complain about the food, so God fed them manna from heaven. They complained about the lack of water, so God had Moses strike a rock and bring forth water for them to drink. The manna represented the body of Christ, just as the wafer we take at Communion represents the body of Christ. The rock is a representation of Jesus Christ and the water would be a foreshadowing of His blood pouring from His side when the soldier stuck his spear into His side. So, the Exodus foreshadowed our journey that we must make. First, they believed Moses would deliver them out of their bondage and they were baptized into Moses. Secondly, they had all the foreshadowing of salvation as represented by the baptism, the manna, and the rock. Thirdly, they had a hope of reaching the Promised Land. If we have accepted Jesus believing that He will deliver us from evil, follow His example of baptism and walk according to the Spirit, we have a hope of reaching the Promised Land, our eternal home in heaven. We, too, must make a journey and some of it will seem like a dry and thirsty land to us. Will we whine and complain or will we really, really trust Jesus and shout for joy in the midst of the storms? Not because of the storm, but in spite of the storm. Will we be Joshuas and Calebs or Dathans and Korahs?
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.–Phil. 2;4-18 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Joy is contagious and it attracts other people to us when we are joyful. No one wants to spend all day, every day, with a complainer. So, if we want to attract others to Jesus, we should serve with a heart full of joy. That joy should be as pure as the joy of a small child. It should have no pretense, people can easily see through that. We want to be bright lights leading others to Jesus. We should be the kind of lights that cause as much excitement and joy as a lighthouse on a shore that is being beaten by crashing sea waves causes when it is seen by the lookout on a ship. Our lights should warn people of the dangers of sin just as surely as the lighthouse warns sailors of the danger of rocks. Keep your lights trimmed and burning bright by studying and meditating on God’s Word daily. Spend time each day with just you and Jesus.