Complaining takes many different forms—’contructive criticism, whining, sulking, the silent treatment, protests, and sarcasm to name but a few. But suffice it to say, they’re all wrong. But here’s something you might not have thought of before. And if you’re not yet motivated to stop complaining your way through life you maybe want to take a look at the following scriptures:
22-24 Moses led Israel from the Red Sea on to the Wilderness of Shur. They traveled for three days through the wilderness without finding any water. They got to Marah, but they couldn’t drink the water at Marah; it was bitter. That’s why they called the place Marah (Bitter). And the people complained to Moses, “So what are we supposed to drink?” Exodus 15:22–24
1 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin,[a] between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.[b] 2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.
3 “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Ex. 16:1–3
1 At the Lord’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin[a] and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. 2 So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded.
“Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the Lord?” Ex. 17:1–2
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. Numbers 14:2
4 Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea[a] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, 5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!” Numbers 21:4–5
At first the Lord is patient and shows compassion on the ungreatful Israelites. But their complaints were hardly warrented and the way God really feels about complaining finally came to light…
they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”
6 So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Numbers 21:5–6
And you can really see God’s heart on the issue here:
26-30 God spoke to Moses and Aaron: “How long is this going to go on, all this grumbling against me by this evil-infested community? I’ve had my fill of complaints from these grumbling Israelites. Tell them, As I live—God‘s decree—here’s what I’m going to do: Your corpses are going to litter the wilderness—every one of you twenty years and older who was counted in the census, this whole generation of grumblers and grousers. Not one of you will enter the land and make your home there, the firmly and solemnly promised land, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
31-34 “Your children, the very ones that you said would be taken for plunder, I’ll bring in to enjoy the land you rejected while your corpses will be rotting in the wilderness. These children of yours will live as shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, living with the fallout of your whoring unfaithfulness until the last of your generation lies a corpse in the wilderness. You scouted out the land for forty days; your punishment will be a year for each day, a forty-year sentence to serve for your sins—a long schooling in my displeasure.
35 “I, God, have spoken. I will most certainly carry out these things against this entire evil-infested community which has banded together against me. In this wilderness they will come to their end. There they will die.”
Kinda makes you want to give up grumbling, doesn’t it?