WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 16, 2022
TOPIC: DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do everything without grumbling and disputes, that you may become blameless and innocent, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in a dark world” (Philippians 2:14-15 Montgomery’s New Testament).
One attitude that was evident in the lives of the children of Israel, in their journey from Egypt to Canaan, was chronic grumbling. They grumbled over different things.
Exodus 15:23-24 says, “When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah). So, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, ‘What are we to drink?’” (New International Version).
The Israelites needed not to grumble over the bitter water since Moses and Aaron, who were leading them, were not ignorant of the situation. As their leaders, they could be trusted to address the problem. After all, these leaders didn’t have a different source of water to drink.
Following their grumbling, Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. He cast it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. If they had not grumbled, Moses would have found a solution to the problem all the same.
With this miracle, one would have thought that the Israelites wouldn’t grumble again over anything. It was evident that God was with them, and He would intervene in any situation they faced, and provide everything they needed. However, they never ceased to grumble.
The Israelites grumbled over food and said to Moses and Aaron, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3 New King James Version). Did you hear ungrateful people, talking about sitting by the pots of meat and eating bread to full in Egypt?
They forgot they were slaves in Egypt before the LORD delivered them from the oppression of the Egyptians (Exodus 2:23-25). It was after the LORD heard their cry that He sent Moses to go and deliver them (Exodus 3:1-10).
Yet, they had the gut to be telling Moses about the sumptuous meals they ate in Egypt. Anyway, in response to their grumbling, the LORD sent quails into their camp and gave them manna. They ate manna for forty years until they came to the border of the land of Canaan (Exodus 16:35). But did they stop grumbling? No.
In Numbers 11, the mixed multitude, who were among the Israelites, yielded to the intense craving, so the Israelites also wept for meat (verse 4). The LORD sent them quails, which they gathered to eat. But while they were eating the meat, He struck them with a very great plague, because He was angry with them for craving for the meat of Egypt (verse 33).
Furthermore, the Israelites grumbled over water, and the LORD caused water to come out of the rock for them to drink. Whatever the condition they found themselves in, they always grumbled.
In Numbers 14:2, the Bible says, “And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!'” (New King James Version).
That is the lifestyle of many people today. They always grumble over discomfort, negative situations, challenges of life, and so on. Many grumble and blame other people for their conditions. Moses said concerning the grumbling attitude of the Israelites: “And you complained in your tents, and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us’” (Deuteronomy 1:27 New King James Version). That complaining was a bad one, which was the same as grumbling.
It was so impossible to please the Israelites that they eventually made their leaders, Moses and Aaron, sin against God, and they were barred from entering the Promised Land. The Israelites provoked Moses by their repeated grumbling over everything, and, in his reaction, he did what God didn’t ask him to do. He struck the rock to give them water (Numbers 20:1-13), as he had done previously (Exodus 17:5-7). The instruction, this second time, was to speak to the rock, not to strike it.
Angered by their attitude, Moses also called them rebels and acted as if he was the one to bring water for them out of the rock. “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10 New King James Version). He wasn’t the one to bring out water from the rock; it was the LORD. He only wanted to use him.
Moses failed to follow the instruction God gave him. He struck the rock twice, and despite his disobedience, the LORD still allowed water to come out for both the congregation and their flock to drink. Nothing seemed to be wrong. The result might have been right, but the process was wrong.
The Lord is not only concerned about the result; He is very much particular about the process. He didn’t overlook the error of Moses and Aaron, despite the fact that the disobedience produced the result intended – water to drink. Because of this error, Moses and Aaron were disqualified from entering the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12).
It was wrong for the Israelites to grumble again and again, which eventually led Moses to commit a grave error that terminated his ministry and led to his death. Aaron died before Moses. However, the fact that God punished Moses and Aaron shows that everybody is responsible for the consequences of his actions.
It won’t be sufficient to say somebody influenced or provoked you. That Moses was provoked by the persistent grumbling of the Israelites didn’t save Moses and Aaron from God’s punishment for sinning against Him. God knew how to deal with the grumbling Israelites, and He did punish them for their sins against Him.
Even the LORD was fed up with this ungrateful and grumbling attitude of the Israelites. He told Moses and Aaron, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me” (Numbers 14:27 New King James Version). The LORD said, “I have heard the grumbling and complaining of these Israelites” (Numbers 14:26b New Century Version). That was why He pronounced a death sentence on the Israelites who were 20 years and above among those that came out of Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua.
Don’t grumble against the Lord; He is not your problem. Grumbling against the Lord does not demonstrate faith in Him. It doesn’t glorify Him in any way but gives room to the devil to operate. Instead of grumbling, worship the Lord; praise Him; thank Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (New King James Version).
The Bible also says in Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (New King James Version).
Don’t grumble over anything before God. Don’t pressure God to give you what is not His will for you. The Bible says the LORD gave the Israelites their request but sent leanness into their soul (Psalm 106:15). He gave them what they craved for, but He also inflicted them with a very great plague, which killed the strongest and best of their families (Psalm 78:29-31).
In John 6, many of the disciples (followers) of Jesus grumbled or complained about the message He preached. If they didn’t understand what He meant by being the bread of life and that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, they should have asked questions instead of grumbling.
John 6:61 says, “Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you?”(New Living Translation). That was a bad complaining. Verse 66 states that at that point, many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him.
Earlier, the Bible said the Jewish people listening to Jesus had murmured or grumbled in disagreement because He said He was the bread from heaven. They said, “This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” (John 6:42 New King James Version). Jesus told them, among other things, not to complain or grumble about what He had said.
Don’t grumble about whatever anyone has said or done. If there are issues, call the attention of the persons involved to it politely and peacefully, seek clarifications, or discuss with the person rather than cause tension within yourself and in your relationships by grumbling. This solves no problem. It is not even good for your spiritual, physical, and mental health. 1 Peter 4:9 says to be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
Don’t grumble about negative situations you may experience in the journey of destiny. Grumbling is unhelpful. It doesn’t change anything. It will weaken and confuse you. When you grumble, you can’t think clearly. Pray rather than grumble. James 5:13a says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (New King James Version). This scripture doesn’t say, “Let him grumble.”
Don’t grumble. Stop grumbling. Philippians 2:14-15 says, “Do everything without grumbling and disputes, that you may become blameless and innocent, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in a dark world” (Montgomery’s New Testament).
In 1 Corinthians 10:10, the Bible warns believers not to grumble as the children of Israel did, which led to their destruction in the wilderness. “The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD. Therefore, he swore that he would kill them in the wilderness, that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands” (Psalm 106:24-27 New Living Translation).
Quit grumbling. Do everything without grumbling.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of grumbling. Henceforth, I shall do everything without grumbling. I shall not grumble against You; I shall not grumble against my superiors or leaders. I shall avoid grumbling in all my relationships.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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