When We Complain, Who Are We Complaining Against?
God heard the cry of the Israelites in Egypt as they suffered under their slave drivers. He was concerned about their suffering so He sent Moses with a plan of rescue. Moses along with God’s many miraculous signs led the Israelites out of Egypt and across the dry bottom of the Red Sea. After the rescue and first hand account of the power of God, how did the Israelites respond? They weren’t pleased with the way God was rescuing them! They quickly forgot about the oppression of the Egyptians when they were in the desert, wondering where their next meal was to come from. They had rejoiced at their rescue, only to quickly start complaining once they were on their way and the going was getting a little tough. Moses called them out and reminded them that they weren’t complaining against him and Aaron, but against the Lord! (Read chapters 3-16 of Exodus for more details.)
It is always so easy to see how the Israelites wavered in their faith, failed to trust God when the going got tough, yet how often do we do the same?
How often do we ask the Lord to help us only to complain about the way He has chosen to help us? Many complain about their jobs, forgetting it is God who provides us with our jobs. Some complain about their finances, not remembering that just as God provided the Israelites with manna daily, so He will meet our needs daily. Many complain about co-workers, neighbors, even friends, forgetting that we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those people who we might be complaining about are the same people God may have sent to help or rescue us.
When we complain because we don’t like how things are going or we complain when things are not going as we had planned, who are we really grumbling against? When we complain about how we are being rescued from our problems, who are we really complaining about? We are grumbling and complaining about our Provider, Sustainer, Rescuer, the Lord!
When we complain to others constantly we are displaying our lack of faith instead of sharing our faith with them. There are times when we are justified in our grumbling, but it is the way we grumble that matters. When you are struggling to make ends meet or weighed down with the stress of life, do you take your concerns and worries directly to God, having faith that He will help? Or do you resemble the Israelites, complaining to anyone who will listen, wanting to go back to the old ways of life, no matter how bad. Do you share your faith through trusting in God’s perfect plan or do you show your lack of faith by complaining about His plan?
It is easy to get caught up complaining, it is something many of us excel at. The next time you start to complain to someone about your circumstances, think about whom you are really grumbling against. Instead of complaining, get on your knees and share your woes with the One who can do all things. Thank Him for all He has done and will do! Shine your light of faith instead of a cloud of unbelief.
Exodus 16:8 NIV: Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when He gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because He has heard your grumbling against Him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”