Three things happened while reading a few passages in Numbers ch.11. The first is that I got a bit of a giggle…. the second thing was discovering there are two types of complaining …. the third was a warning. The Lord does have a ‘funny’ sense of humour at times and this occasion is one of them even though He wasn’t too happy with the Israelites complaining at every opportunity since their exodus from Egypt.
In Numbers 11:4-6 we read about the complaints about not having meat to eat in the dessert –
There were foreigners travelling with the Israelites. They had a strong craving for meat and even the Israelites themselves began to complain “If only we could have some meat! In Egypt we used to eat all the fish we wanted and it cost us nothing. “
Their complaints didn’t stop with not having meat to eat – they also had a bit of a whinge about everything else they missed….
Remember the cucumbers, the watemelons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic we had? But now our strength is gone. There is nothing at all to eat – nothing but this manna day after day.
Moses also had something to complain about. He was feeling rather distressed about all the complaining of the Israelites – and he said to the Lord ….
V: 11-14. Why have you treated me so badly? Why are you displeased with me? Why have you given me the responsibility for all these people? I didn’t create them or bring them to birth! Why should you ask me to act like a nurse and carry them in my arms like babies all the way to the land you promised to their ancestors? Where could I get enough meat for all these people They keep whining and asking for meat. I can’t be responsible for all these people by myself; it’s too much for me!
Moses’ complaint was a ‘crying out’ from the heart. On his part this was a ‘pleading’ to the Lord for help…. and a reminder that this was really God’s problem. God did come to his help but he was not happy with the Israelites’ complaints.
So why should we be careful if we insist on complaining (ie whinge and moan about things)? Read what God told Moses to say to the people ……
V: 18-20. Now tell the people, ‘Purify yourselves for tomorow; you will have meat to eat. The Lord has heard you whining and saying that you wished you has some meat and that you were better off in Egypt. Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. You will have to eat it not just for one or two days, or five, or ten, or even twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your ears, until you are sick of it.’
….. Just might make me think twice before I start complaining about anything.