The River of God Church

In our Bible study, we have been studying the Israelites pilgrimage from Egypt to the promised land. There are many things that we have continued to learn but one thing that has stood out for us is how they had mastered to perfection the art of murmuring. How is it, you ask, that a nation so blessed as Israel could still complain against God? The answer is right before you, ask yourself the same question. Sadly, most people are murmurers(complainers,grumblers), at home,work,school,- everywhere and anytime, there’s always loads of opportunities to grumble. Murmuring is not always verbal, it’s more so in our minds. Murmuring is a sin (Prov 19:3, 17:19) that arises from the fleshly nature of our hearts and it robs us of God’s blessings and grace. For the Israelites, it cost them dearly (Read through Exodus-Leviticus-Numbers and see)

The Chronicles of Israel’s murmuring.

  1. They complained to Moses that because of his talk of a promised land, Pharaoh had made things difficult for them Exodus 5:20

  2. When pursued by Pharaoh at the Red sea, they complained to Moses that it was better if he had left them alone in Egypt Exodus 14:10-12

  3. After experiencing God’s deliverance at the Red sea,  and now at the desert of Shur at a place called Marah, they complained about the bitter water Exodus 15:22

  4. At the desert of Sin, they complained about being hungry Exodus 16:1-4

  5. At Rephidin, they complained about being thirsty Exodus 17:1-4

  6. At the desert of Paran after leaving Sinai, the people complained about their hardships. God sent fire from heaven and consumed the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11:1-3

  7. The ‘mixed multitude’ amongst the Israelites also complained about not having meat. They said they had lost their appetites because of eating manna continuously-that which previously tasted as honey now tasted like something made with olive oil. Numbers 11:4

  8. Miriam and Aaron complained about Moses’ leadership. Miriam was struck with Leprosy. Numbers 12

  9. The spies complained about how difficult it was to enter the Promised Land. They died of plague Numbers 14

  10. The whole assembly wanted to stone Moses Numbers 14:10

  11. Key leaders(Korah,Dathan and Abiran) complained and rebelled against Moses. The ground split open and consumed the rebels. Numbers 16

  12. After the episode above, the people complained again accusing Moses of killing God’s people Numbers 16:41

  13. At the desert of Zin they complained of thirst and Moses angry with them complained and struck the rock instead of speaking to it. This cost him Canaan. Numbers 20

  14. The people complained to Moses and God once again for taking them out of Egypt. God sent a fiery serpent to bite them Numbers 21:4-5

Even after experiencing God’s blessings, providence,deliverance,presence and even wrath, the Israelites still grumbled. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, we read that ‘their story is recorded for us to learn from their mistakes’.

So what causes murmuring even in us today?

  1. Comparison. For instance, Numbers 11 “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic”. Looking at this statement, you’d think their life in Egypt was heaven on earth.

  2. Self-pity.

  3. A false sense of injustice. (A sense that every circumstance is unfair to you)

  4. Pride. (E.g. Miriam & Aaron)

  5. Lack of gratitude

  6. Unbelief

  7. Fear

  8. Being judgmental

  9. Stubbornness and hardness of heart

  10. Lust

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