August 3, 2009

10/19/08 Silly Israelites...

Complaining seems to follow me wherever I go, either from myself or from everyone around me. It puts a damper on a day. There's nothing worse than waking up with a smile on your face, determined to make it a good day, and you come across someone who thinks the world is out to get them or that nothing is going right in their life. I've said it before and will probably say it until I'm blue in the face: "It's all about perspective."

For instance, take the Israelites (yup, the ones from the Old Testament). Now there are some true complainers! They "grumbled" to their leader (Moses) and to God during their journey through the desert to the Promised Land. Granted, a long walk in the dessert does not sound appealing to me, but consider their circumstances. They were being lead out of slavery and into a land flowing with milk and honey! What's to complain about? Perspective, people!

"The Israelites said to them (Moses and Aaron), ‘If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.'" Did you catch that? The Israelites were actually longing to go back to be slaves for what? To be able to eat meat! Even though God had rescued them from the torture of slavery, the Israelites were so selfish and disillusioned enough to want to go back because they missed the taste of meat. It seems to me that they not only missed meat, they missed the bigger picture.

It's so easy to look at the example of the Israelites and laugh at their ignorance and stubbornness--such silly people! To us, being free is of more value than any delicacy served in captivity. But not so fast. God sent us a redeemer just as He did for the Israelites. Jesus was sent to us to be our Redeemer, to rescue us from the slavery of sin (Romans 7:14). But our response to Him? Complaining just like, if not worse than, the Israelites! We have been rescued from captivity, yet we complain because we don't have enough luxuries, just like those Old Testament people complained about not having meat. Don't be like the Israelites and take for granted the good things that God desires for you. Simply trust Him in whatever situation you are in right now. Just like God was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, so He is leading us to the Promised Land of Heaven right now!

"Do everything without complaining or arguing." -Philippians 2:14

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