All murmuring is against God. You may think that you and your murmuring friends are murmuring against something or someone else, but you are not.
Moses said, "This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.Ē Exodus 16: 7-8
Numbers 11:1 sets the stage for a long lesson on one of the most pervasive and evil sins known to man: ďNow the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.Ē NASU This lesson in Numbers 11:1-21:9 contains nine specific examples. The people murmured eight times. Their leader, Moses, got fed up and murmured about the people. They murmured about everything imaginable. This first one in Numbers 11:1 has no object of the murmuring, but the other eight do. Thus, we know that the lesson is about murmuring in general, all murmuring. Godís people murmured about Godís wonderful provision, Godís wonderful leader, and Godís wonderful land. Godís leader murmured about Godís people and was refused entry into the Promised Land.
God is sovereign over all things. When we complain about our circumstances, we are complaining that God is not able or that He is not willing to do what is best. That is unacceptable, but it happens in your church and in mine.
Murmuring is usually not a one time occurrence. Usually it is a lifestyle. We often rightly speak about the sinfulness of ďalternative lifestylesĒ but somehow we miss this most destructive of alternative lifestyles. What is the cure for the life of murmuring? Man thinks that it is to get rid of the occasion but the occasion has nothing to do with it. Nothing whatsoever. We think if something, anything, does not suit us we just murmur what suits us. There is a legitimate way to work through ordained authority and effect a needed change, but make no mistake, murmuring is not it.
If you want to destroy your church, just keep on murmuring and listening to your murmuring friends. The cure for this lifestyle of murmuring is to turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is likely the cause for your circumstances anyway.
One real clear look at Jesus accompanied by a corresponding look at the blackness of your own soul will cure you of your murmuring. This in no way means that God will remove your cause for murmuring. He will likely leave that in place because it helps you to focus on Christ. If you choose to, you can keep on murmuring and destroy the church that Christ bought with His own blood. God will one day give you a face-to-face opportunity to explain that to Him.
Commentary by Pastor Steve Ellison, Harvey's Chapel Baptist Church, Hot Springs, AR