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Murmuring, Grumbling and Complaining

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The Spirit of Murmuring, Grumbling and Complaining - An Acceptable Sin?

The Spirit of Grumbling and Complaining - An Acceptable Sin?

The most infamous example of murmuring in the Bible must be from the people of GOD during their exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Throughout the exodus the people of GOD murmured against GOD and his servants Moses and Aaron.
With such a spirit from the start, should we be surprised at their sins?
In fact, their spirit of murmuring was so bad that GOD said in ;
Their spirit of murmuring was so bad that GOD said in ;
Numbers 14:27 KJV 1900
How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
GOD calls this spirit of murmuring, grumbling, and complaining as against him and to go against GOD is rebellion.
In the narrative of Number 14, the people were very upset with Moses and Aaron.
They believed they had a right to be upset and that they were brought out into the desert to die, .
They wanted to reject GOD’s chosen servant. The servant GOD had personally called to lead His people out of bondage.
They were wrong to murmured and this was what Moses said to them;
Numbers 14:9–10 KJV 1900
Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
It took the glory of the LORD to prevent these rebellious people from sinning further.
In fact, their spirit of rebellion was so bad that none of them got to go into the promised land, .
GOD accused them of testing Him and despising Him 10 times and each time refusing to repent.
As for Paul, in his analysis of that attitude, he added the aspect of disputing or arguing into the spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining. .
Philippians 2:14 KJV 1900
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Do we, the pastoral team also have a spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining?
About the flock?
About the Elders or Deacons?
And about each other?

The nature of murmuring, grumbling and complaining

GOD showed us a very interesting habit, pattern or aspect of this spirit of murmuring.
Deuteronomy 1:27 KJV 1900
And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
This attitude was again mentioned and highlighted for us in
Psalm 106:24–25 KJV 1900
Yea, they despised the pleasant land, They believed not his word: But murmured in their tents, And hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.
Psalm 106:25 KJV 1900
But murmured in their tents, And hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.
GOD knew they murmured in their tent secretly.
Thinking no one knew that they were murmuring in their hearts.
BUT GOD called out their sins as sins of rebellion and despising of His character of goodness.
The things we do in secret, GOD knows.
He also knows if we have murmured.
Maybe it is time to search myself and ask “Do I have a spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining?”
And “Do I plan to continue to murmur, grumble and complain in secret?”
Another aspect of the spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining is that they think they were right in their assessment and as such they were right and had every right to murmur.
The saw the situation and they concluded they were going to die in the desert - they and their family.
What is scary is that such people are delusional people because they think they are right.
They think that just because they are able to be critical and pick up the issues, their conclusion must be spot on.
The people in the wilderness did not remember who GOD is, what He had done, what he had promised and what were his plans for them.
They thought critically but they did not think Biblically.
That was the people of GOD in Number 14 and GOD said this to them;
Numbers 14:28–30 KJV 1900
Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
These people are full of themselves and GOD confirmed their foolishness by giving them what they whispered in their hearts, in their tents and eventually in the camp.
These people did not have a spirit of submission, gratefulness and the spirit of kindness that we see in the LORD Jesus.

The Put-Off and Put-On Dynamics

So, what are we to do solve with this spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining?
We are to put it off or repent of this sin.
The put-off in repenting of this sin is easy - stop doing it!
But Biblical repentance is more than stopping the wrong behaviour.
Its also about doing the opposite - cultivating the right behaviour.
The put-on is more difficult than the put-off.
To change is more difficult - especially Biblical change.
To change the biblical way it very difficult.
Thats a topic for another day.
For now, we shall look at the put-on dynamics when we want to repent biblically of the sin murmuring behaviour?
To solve this problem, let us first turn to;
Isaiah 29:22–24 KJV 1900
Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, Neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, They shall sanctify my name, And sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, And shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, And they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
is29
Isaiah 29:22–24 ESV
Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall no more be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction.”
is
These 3 verses of Isaiah talks about the presence and effects of GOD in their lives.
How GOD will help them and interestingly, Isaiah mentioned murmuring.
On this subject, we see more precisely in how GOD solves this problem.
More precisely, .
Isaiah 29:24 ESV
And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction.”
The put-on attitude and behaviour for a murmuring, grumbling and complaining spirit is a spirit of understanding, a willingness to learn and accept instructions - especially the instructions of Scripture.
The opposite of the spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining is a spirit of learning and patiently understanding others and the situation.
It is about cultivating the desire to listen, hear and understand.
A desire to seek the truth and accept or submit to the instructions.
Someone with the spirit of grumbling, murmuring and complaining is quick to judge, comment and condemn.
Such people are like the fools that Proverbs condemns;
Proverbs 18:2 KJV 1900
A fool hath no delight in understanding, But that his heart may discover itself.
Discover is meant to say “express” or tell others what they have in mind and what they are thinking.
They are critical of people, situation and things and they want people to hear them and know what they are thinking.
What is scary is that such people are delusional people because they think they are right just because they are able to be critical and pick up the issues.
Just like the people of GOD in Number 14 until GOD said;
Numbers 14:28–30 KJV 1900
Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
Num14.28
These people are full of themselves and they lack the spirit of kindness that we see in the LORD Jesus.
The put-on is to cultivate a spirit of understanding and the willingness to accept or submit to instructions.
So, another put-on behaviour to replace the habit of murmruing, grumbling and complaining is in .
Luke 19:7 KJV 1900
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
This portion of Scripture is about Jesus and Zacchaeus.
The people knew Zacchaeus only as a sinner and did not have compassion for him.
Jesus saw him as a sinner in need of a savior and went to him.
When we see a person, his weakness and his sins, what do we see?
Do we look with eyes of compassion or a spirit of condemnation and a lack of concern and an attitudeof non-involvement?
If such attitudes are allowed to take root in our hearts, in the homes and in the church, it will makes us even more open to murmuring and grumbling.
The put-on attitude here is a spirit of compassion, gentleness and kind-heartedness.
Attributes of the LORD Jesus.
Finally, BUT not the final word on the put-on dynamics against grumbling, murmur and complaining is in .
Philippians 2:14–18 KJV 1900
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
The apostle Paul tell us to put-off murmuring and disputing and think of the following;
Blameless - rid ourselves of the spirit of murmuring will lead is to a life that is without fault. In the words of James, this is a perfect or mature man.
Be harmless - refers to a lack of evil or be pure and sincere.
Know our identity as sons of GOD - behave like the sons of GOD
Shine as lights - reflecting the larger light, Christ.
Holding forth the the word of life - grip tightly to the words of GOD and let it be dear to us.
Look forward to rejoice in the day of Christ - do not lose sight of Christ’s return. Do not lost sight of eternity.
Learn to rejoice - in all hardship, even death.
Get others to do likewise.
All these qualities, doing all these things will keep us away from a spirit of murmuring, grumbling and complaining.
It will keep us from giving excuses for murmuring, grumbling and complaining and making them into an acceptable sin.
May GOD never find anyone of us harbouring the sins of murmuring, grumbling and complaining.
Conclusion:
No sin is acceptable before GOD and what the our people need from us is our holiness.
Let us pray.
John 6:43 KJV 1900
Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
John 6
Philippians 2:14–18 KJV 1900
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
Phil2:
Philippians 2:14–18 ESV
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
phil2:
put-off murmuring/grumbling
put-on the spirit of gratefulness and thankfulness, Exodus 16.
1Cor10:
1 Corinthians 10:6–13 KJV 1900
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
murmured on the same plane as;
lust or desire after evil things.
Idolaters.
partying/revelery: fornication or sexual immorality.
fornication or sexual immorality.
tempting Christ or put Christ to the test.
murmured or grumbling.
In the ministry, doing well and ending well is about not complaining and grumbling
AND
Putting on “blamelessness”, innocency - our identity as a child of GOD.
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