The Sin of Complaining


"And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." (Psalm 106:15)

Christians who complain about their circumstances would do well to ponder this sobering verse and its background. God had greatly blessed His people, Israel, delivering them supernaturally from slavery in Egypt, protecting them against their enemies--even miraculously supplying daily bread and water for them in the desert.

Still they complained--about their food, about the imaginary luxuries they had left behind in Egypt, and against their leaders. "And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled" (Numbers 11:1). Finally, when they complained about the manna, "the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly." He sent them quail to eat in such abundance as to last "even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you." Then, "while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed . . . the LORD smote the people with a very great plague" (Numbers 11:10, 20, 33).

God has blessed every Christian with forgiveness of sin and eternal life. He daily fulfills His promise to supply every need (not every desire, however), and we should live a thankful life in return, regardless of our particular lot in this world. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). "Do all things without murmurings and disputings" (Philippians 2:14). Complaining about what we don't have may well result in God taking away what we do have—and still worse—sending leanness into our souls. HMM