How many times have you heard someone complaining about something and in order to show sympathy you joined in with them?
"Oh, this job is wearing me out."
"Me, too. It gets harder everyday."
"Boy, it's so hot today."
"Yeah, I wish it would rain. When was the last time we had rain?"
"Whew!" shaking your umbrella and removing your jacket, "that is some downpour. Traffic was so slow. I knew I'd be late ..."
Does that sound familiar? Could you imagine God having to listen to that multiplied by billions everyday? We must be wearing Him down!
The children of Israel had been subjected to cruel and inhumane conditions under the hand of Pharaoh. They cried out to God for deliverance and God intervened by sending them Moses and Aaron to bring them out of Egypt. But no sooner had they escaped from Pharaoh, they began to murmur and complain. Listen to them: "Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness" (Exodus 14 : 12).
Did they really say that? Yes, they did. They had experienced all the amazing miracles that God had performed by the hands of Moses, but now when it seemed like Pharaoh's armies would overtake them, they lashed out at Moses. And they continued to do that even after God had parted the Red Sea and made a way for them out of no way.
Are we any different from the Israelites? I am shaking my head, no. I know that I complain when I shouldn't. I give in to fear instead of faith, doubt instead of certainty, worry instead of prayer. Do you? The Bible tells us, "Do all things without complaining and disputing" (Philippians 2: 14).
Remember what Joshua did when he wanted to take the city of Jericho? "He commanded the people, Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!" (Joshua 6 : 10) Sometimes we have to "be still" and allow God to perform His work, because if we open our mouths and complain, we may stifle His purpose for our lives.