Read Numbers 14:1-4
1 Then the whole community began weeping aloud,and they cried all night. 2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt,or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. 3 “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 Then they plotted among themselves,”Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” (NLT)
In many of our relatively affluent societies there is a culture of complaint. We want things our way and insist that someone do something about it to make it so. And if we don’t get our way we complain to anyone who will listen how unfairly we are being treated.
It isn’t a merely modern tendency. It seems that the liberated people of God had a culture of complaint in the wilderness. Things seemed to be against them: largely because of their own folly. Having lamented their captivity in Egypt,they now lament their rescue from Egypt. The promised land didn’t look so promising.
You just can’t please some people. They seem to have an inbuilt default to grumble. Of course there is plenty to complain about in any aspect of our own life. And no harm in expressing some dissatisfaction from time to time,or pouring out our frustrations to God.
But when we develop a complaining spirit,an ongoing attitude of complaint,we are in trouble. We cease to give thanks; we cease to recognise the good amidst the not so good; we cease to turn to God for strength to help sustain us in the wilderness times.
Let’s not be those who see a cloud in every silver lining.