The Hebrew word “leen” has been defined “to be obstinate (especially in words, to complain); to murmur or make to murmur.” Throughout the history of Israel they were challenged in life. In bondage they cried out for deliverance. We are told, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them” (Exodus 3:23-25),


            God chose Moses and made him His champion, to lead Israel out of bondage, into the land of promise. Although they wanted freedom from Egypt; Israel was not happy when they finally got out of the bondage they had endured for so long. Only three days after crossing the Red Sea they began to murmur against Moses because the waters of Marah were bitter. Moses wrote, “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there He made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there He proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:22-26).


            God cared for the needs of the people. However we are told that Israel was not content with what He provided. On the 15th day of the second month after God had freed them, they again began to complain. We are told, “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:2-3). It seems that they forgot the labor they endured in bondage. They failed to trust God and longed for the meat from flesh pots and the bread that had been doled out to them while they were enslaved. We are told that God fed them with manna and quails. God told Moses “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God. (Exodus 16:12).


            It seems that some folk are never happy. When things were going well Israel looked for trouble: They left God for false gods (Exodus 32:1-5). They committed fornication (Exodus 32:6). They married the heathen which God had forbidden (Ezra 9:1-13). When Israel repented of their sin God would forgive and restore them. When things were going bad Israel cried out to God for deliverance (II Chronicles 12:5-8).


            Many think that God is not serious when He demands obedience. The scriptures are clear when they point out the way of salvation (Romans 1:16-18). Yet many would reject the gospel for a modern version of God’s word which tickle the ear and allow man to set his own standard, to use his own rules. Jesus stated, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV).


            God is faithful in His dealings with man: The Hebrew letter tells us “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 NKJV). Paul wrote, in his first letter to the brethren at Thessalonica “Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:24). Just as God was willing to forgive Israel when they humbled themselves and repented, so He will forgive today when men stop living in sin and obey His will. John told the brethren “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9). He also warned, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (Revelation 21:27).


            Some would still murmur and complain. They feel that God has no right to tell them what to do. James wrote, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). Will you obey the will of God and accept His invitation to share His home in heaven?


                                                                                                                        - - PER

  August 2020  
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