Complain and Deny
Updated: May 10
God makes Himself known to the complaining Israelites
In the book of Exodus, God saves the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. He makes Himself known to the people not only through Moses and his miraculous works in Egypt but audibly at Mount Sinai. The people are so afraid of God that they ask Moses to go and speak with him because it is too much for them.
Even God was getting fed up with them: "Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me?
Not long after their freedom from slavery they are already complaining about the free manna from heaven. The people complain they want meat and whine about the bland bread they are forced to eat. They complain numerous times for lack of water and other essentials which God continues to provide for them. When faced with the people inhabiting the Promised Land God was taking them to they exclaimed: "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! 3 Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" Numbers 14:1
A Greater Nation
Even God was getting fed up with them: "Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." Numbers 14:11
When it is said that the Lord has patience, this is the passage you need to refer to for proof. The Israelites saw with their own eyes the power of God. They heard with their own ears His voice. Yet they continued to complain. Another man many years later would walk physically with God and even break bread with him. This man would also deny that he even knew God. This man was Peter and he made a vow to Jesus that he would die for him. Jesus said "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Matthew 26:34
We humans complain and deny so many times in our life that the record books would have to be millions of pages long to capture everyone. If we had been part of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, we too would have complained. When faced with the sword of the Romans, we too would have denied we knew anything about Jesus. Fear and desire are powerful emotions and are at the core of our very existence. Somehow we need to overcome these frailties when it comes to faith in God.
God has demonstrated time and again that He wants us to succeed and has the ability to provide for our every need. We may not be rich but I believe most of you reading this have everything you need. We need not deny we are Christians either no matter the cost because God has said He will protect us and at the very worst will redeem us if we lose our life. If we believe in Him, we need to demonstrate on our end that we are grateful for everything we have. The fact that we are conscious and are breathing allows us to experience all life has to offer. Yes rain is disruptive to our daily lives but look at the rainbow that emerges when it is over. Look at the greenery and fauna that are produced from the watering of the land or the food that is produced from it.
There are many things to complain about these days but there are just as many equal and wonderful things to be grateful for. The opposite to consciousness and breathing is death and darkness. Would you rather be there? Back in Numbers, God sent many an Israelite to his or her death from the lack of faith in Him. Those stiff necked people over the age of twenty never saw the promised land Moses was leading them towards. Luckily their children and our ancestors did get to see it and those same ancestors walked alongside Jesus as he taught 2000 years ago.
We have much to thankful for these days. Cars to get us around, easy access to food and water and toilet paper! These luxuries are only recent developments in man's almost 6000 years of existence. God is definitely at work providing for his people. Thank Him for it and resolve to learn more about Him through His word. Be Glad not Sad.
God loves cheerful people. Solomon said it best. Here was a man who had it all and was still not happy. "So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun." Ecclesiastes 8:15.
Don't be like the Israelites or Peter. Enjoy life, love your neighbor and give thanks to God. This is all the Bible is teaching and is the doorway to Heaven and eternal life.