“And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.”
1 Corinthians 10:10 NIV
The last issue Paul mentioned as the iniquity of the cast-aways was the issue of Grumbling. They were said to have grumbled against God, and so incurred His wrath. What really happened, and what incident was being referred to here?
Numbers 16 tells the story of how three men, Korah, Dathan and Abiram rose up and began to question God’s choice of Moses and Aaron as their leaders. This questioning rose to the point of outright rebellion, until God had to deal with them specially. It was not as if that was how Moses wanted it. In fact he wished they had not started their stupid actions and so incurred the wrath of God. He tried to reason with them to no avail, so he let God intervene in the matter. What was the result? God killed them.
Now do you know what happened? The next day, the children of Israel rose up and began to grumble against Moses, saying, “You have killed the Lord’s people”, and so they rose in opposition against Moses and Aaron. Can you imagine that? These people died as a result of their stupid actions, instead of the rest of Israel to learn their lessons and repent before the Lord, they rose up to protest His judgement.
This is the challenge with grumbling. To grumble means to quarrel with God concerning His judgement. It is to essentially accuse Him of injustice. A man rarely grumbles unless he feels that justice was not served him. This is why God warns us against grumbling. Grumbling contests the fact that the Lord is good and there is no unrighteousness in Him. It queries the fact that God cannot be unjust in His dealings with men.
Reading our key verse from The Living Bible, it says, “And don’t murmur against God and his dealings with you as some of them did, for that is why God sent his Angel to destroy them.”
1 Corinthians 10:10 (TLB)
So, this is how it applies to us. Most of us are where we are today because we were not very careful with our lives. The truth is that if we had paid close attention to what the Lord was showing us, we would not have been here at this time, but farther up the road of life. But look at us, after breaking many spiritual principles and being careless with our lives, God, in His mercy, has brought us thus far. Now, looking back at life, you are not quite contented with how God is dealing with you, especially when you compare it with how He’s dealing with others. You are not quite at peace with where you feel He had placed you. However, instead of turning to Him in prayers, and asking Him to show you where you have missed it, or how you can do better, you turn and rain accusations upon Him, proclaiming that He is altogether unjust and unfair in His dealings with you.
However, the Lord God is never unfair. Man may be, but not God. There is no unrighteousness with Him. Grumbling against Him will get you no where. It is better to sit down in worship and in prayers, with God’s word in your hands, asking Him to show you the way from where you are, than to sit and murmur, grumble and complain that He has treated others better than you.
Grumblers never learn anything from their challenges, failures or mistakes in life. For them, it s every other person’s fault, not their own fault. Hence, they waste their trials. They never learn what God wanted them to learn through it, and so they suffer for nothing. Before Aaron could intervene, God had killed 14,700 for no other sin but Grumbling.
Beware of Grumbling. Be content with where God has placed you now, and learn the lessons in that phase. If you are humble and teachable, He will bring you through all situations and circumstances. Amen.
PRAYERS: Lord, God, You are holy and good, and there is no unrighteousness in You. Sometimes, I want to wonder why Your dealing with me is different from other people, but now I know. You know me more than I know myself. You know my inclination and the motions of my heart. That is what you pass me through these dealings. Help me to accept your dealings and to learn the lessons thereby. May I never waste my trials in useless grumbling. Help me to be humble and learn whatever you desire that I learn, so that your very will and purpose for my life will be fulfilled. Amen.
For further reading: Numbers 16 and 17; Philippians 2 vs. 14-16; 1 Peter 4 vs. 9; Deutoronomy 1 vs. 26-27.