In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2-3 NIV
The Israelites found themselves in the Desert of Sin, just 45 days into their deliverance from Egypt. Without food, fear of death was a very real expectation. There were no grocery stores, no markets, and no restaurants. Their food supply chain was gone. There was a solution, but it was totally outside of any of their thinking. Manna, bread from heaven was made available.
One of the attitudes surrounding fear is to grumble and complain against others that you believe have control of a situation. A child begs to take a ride on the roller coaster for the first time. I consent and ride with them. During the intensity of the speed and curves, the child screams out, “why did you make me ride this, I never want to go on this ride again!” Fear found a way to complain.
Some thoughts to consider
- Some problems are big enough for legitimate concerns. They would need food and water to survive. Jesus teaches about this type of worry and concern in his teaching on the sermon on the mount as recorded in Matthew 6. “Your Father knows that you have need of these things…food, shelter and clothing. Seek God first.
- Grumbling is not an expression of faith. The people of God need to speak with faith which points others to God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Joshua and Caleb spoke with faith after spying on the giants in the land of promise.
- Grumbling is short sighted. It only took 45 days for them to forget how tough things really were as slaves in Egypt. Solomon said a person’s argument sounds convincing until you hear the other side. Grumbling is one sided. They did not have all of the food to eat in Egypt that they wanted.
- Grumbling is poisonous. Grumbling conversations spread in a group. Fear of survival was leading to complaining against their leadership. As Americans we have a right to freedom of speech. As followers of Jesus, we are commanded and instructed not to grumble and complain. Discontent can ruin the whole atmosphere that a group of people are breathing.
- Address fear without grumbling. Asking questions about safety at work is not grumbling. Talking bad about the leadership after the conversation is grumbling. This pandemic is real. Criticizing leadership is grumbling. No person or government has total control over every aspect of life and health. God alone carries that authority.
- Jesus overcame death. Let Jesus remind you of eternal life everlasting, for fear of death to lose its sting.
- Grumbling and thankfulness are mutually exclusive. “In everything, give thanks.” You are not giving thanks FOR bad things. But DURING the bad events you can still have a heart of thankfulness. This flows from remembering God’s faithfulness in the past and present.
Talk with God about your fears, He can handle the conversation. Grumbling is talking behind His back. As Jesus people our conversations should be characterized by life and hope. Jesus is the answer for the world today, and tomorrow and then the next day. In the middle and end of the pandemic, Jesus is big enough to handle the pressure and task of caring for our needs.
On this Fear Not Friday, cease grumbling and overflow with thanksgiving.
Blessings Love y’all