“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

The Complaint Department

So Moses said to the Lord, "Why have You afflicted Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all these people on me?" Numbers 11:11

"The complaint department is on the fourth floor, opposite the credit department." My dad, when he was tired of listening to us kvetch.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14

 As I read through the Bible chronologically this year, I'm seeing things I didn't notice the last time through. And one that has stuck out to me, especially the last couple days, is how much complaining the Israelites did - especially in the last few chapters I've read (Numbers 11-14). And it came at what seems to be the most unlikely time.

Just before this, they'd spent close to a year at Mount Sinai, learning more and more about the Lord and His plan for them. And now, after what likely felt like a VERY long wait, they had broken camp, left Sinai, and were headed for the Promised Land.
First, the people were tired of manna, so they complained. And the Lord gave them quail - more than they could handle.

Next, it was Aaron and Miriam, kvetching that Moses was getting all the attention. And the Lord gave Miriam leprosy - then took it away at Moses' bidding.

And just after that? The twelve spies checked out the land God promised them - and ten of them whined and complained about those they needed to conquer to get the land. The result? Forty years of wandering in the desert.

And it all comes from lack of gratitude. The Israelites had been freed from slavery, saved from their captors, given God's Word, been selected as the Lord's chosen people, and many, many other things too numerous to mention. And instead of looking at what they had - they focused on what they didn't.

I don't know about you, but I can relate. Big time. Especially over the past few weeks. My blessings abound, but still I complain. I have so very much, yet all I can think about is what I lack. It's downright shameful.

Thank You, Lord, for showing me how much my heart imitates the children of Israel - those folks I shake my head at, and ask how they could possibly complain among their blessings. How indeed?

Count your blessings, not your deprivations. Quit your complaining, and remember all you have to be thankful for.
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us?

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

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