Complaining

Numbers 11-12 and Psalm 42-43

A couple of years prior to Numbers chapter 11, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt.  They were being mistreated by the Egyptians, and they wanted out!  God answered their plea, and he delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians.  It wasn’t an easy process though, as man could not have done it alone.  God had to perform a number of miracles along the way to free the Israelites. 

If we fast forward back to Numbers 11, the Israelites begin to complain because they are hungry.  They complain to Moses who then complains to God.  It’s as if the Israelites completely forgot all of the miracles that God performed in the first place to get them out of Egypt.  When I read about how the Israelites complain time and time again about being hungry, thirsty, or whatever, I get irritated with them.  I ask how in the world could they complain after all that God has done for them?!

Unfortunately, the more I think about the Israelites complaining, the more I realize similarities between them and many of us today, myself included.  God may not have rescued us from the hands of the Egyptians, but He has done so much more than we could ever begin to ask.  God laid down his own Son for us, so that we could have everlasting life in His coming Kingdom.  That’s powerful!  After all that God has done for us, we still have our bad days.  We still have our days in which we complain to God about the current issues we are experiencing in life.

From the outside looking in, the problems that the Israelites faced seemed like such small issues in the big picture, and the truth of the matter is that they were.  The same could be said about many of the small issues that we face on a daily basis and have the audacity to complain to God about after all He has done for us.  I’m all for being honest with God and expressing our real, raw feelings to God, so I don’t think that’s the issue.  Rather, maybe we shouldn’t let the small issues that we may experience affect us so much.  We need to put all the temporary issues that we experience into perspective.  Most of the issues that a lot of us, myself included, may complain about aren’t even worth complaining about in the first place! 

A small bump in the road may seem like a giant mountain when we are going through it, but hindsight is often able to put those issues into perspective.  Let’s work on putting those small issues into perspective in the moment, which is a lot easier said than done.  If we do this, then our positive attitudes will uplift us and those around us.

A note from Psalms:

“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!” Psalm 43:3

This ties directly in to our conversation yesterday about being led by God.  Pray for God to send out his light and truth to us to lead us where He sees fit.

-Kyle McClain

Links to today’s Bible reading – Numbers 11-12 and Psalm 42-43

Joseph: Prosperous Slave & Successful Prisoner…And God Was With Him

Gen 39 20b-21a

In the beginning of Genesis 39, Joseph has just been sold to a new master named Potiphar.  During the course of the chapter, Joseph is falsely accused and thrown into prison.  The chapter ends as Joseph goes from being a slave to being a prisoner.  Sounds pretty bad, right?  Strangely enough, the chapter starts out by saying of Joseph the slave, “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.”  The chapter ends by saying of Joseph the prisoner, “The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”  So God was with Joseph and gave him success and prosperity even as a slave and a prisoner.  Sounds very strange to me.  It would seem to me that success would be not being a slave and not being a prisoner.  But Joseph understood some things that many of us never understand.

 

We can learn a lot of good things from Joseph.  Whatever happened in his life, he kept on trying to live for God.  He continued to have a good attitude and he continued to work hard.  He didn’t pout, become discouraged, depressed or cry out, “Why me?”

 

How about you?  When you go through tough times, do you continue to seek God and discover His will?  Do you try to keep a positive attitude?  Would you keep working hard if you were in Joseph’s shoes?  We will soon see how God’s plan unfolded in Joseph’s life.  Feel free to read ahead in the Bible on this story of Joseph.  It is way more interesting than a TV show.

 

-Jason Turner