“So you see that to be a murmurer, and to be a rebel, in Scripture phrase is all one; it is rebellion against God. Just as it is the beginning of rebellion and sedition in a kingdom, when the people are discontented. When discontent comes, it grows to murmuring, and you can go into no house almost, but there is murmuring when men are discontented, so that within a little while it breaks forth into sedition or rebellion…………Oh, this rebellious heart that I have against the Lord, which has manifested itself in this way of murmuring against the Lord!” Burroughs p. 86
(He used Scripture to support this in Numbers 14)
TO MURMUR IS TO BE A REBEL
The path to becoming a rebel against God starts off with being discontented. Being discontent. Discontentment is evil because it leads to murmuring, and ultimately to rebellion against God Himself.
Think of the Israelites—they were the ones who murmurred in the wilderness—-they were the ones who became discontent and who rebelled against God, Moses, and Aaron (Num. 14).
WHY did they murmur exactly???
The reason they murmurred was because they had just been given report by the 12 spies of Israel that were sent into the land of Canaan to scope out the land and see who dwelled there, and what it was like. (num. 13:17)
The first thing the spies reported was that Canaan in fact was the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey (13:27).
But then they went on to report how the people in the land were strong and how they had walled cities, and that there were even GIANTS, the sons of Anak—and they were “in their own sight at grasshoppers” compared to these men in the land of Canaan (13:33).
DO you see where this is going for them? They were Promised a land flowing with milk and honey, and they are told it is so—all is well with them in that report.
But then, all is not well with them when they hear of the size of the inhabitants of the land, and they have now TOTALLY FORGOTTEN what the Lord has done for them and they proceed in murmurring and REBELLION………………
The next scripture says:
“AND ALL THE CONGREGATION LIFTED UP THEIR VOICE, AND CRIED; AND THE PEOPLE WEPT THAT NIGHT. AND ALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL MURMURED AGAINST MOSES AND AGAINST AARON: AND THE WHOLE CONGREGATION SAID UNTO THEM, WOULD GOD THAT WE HAD DIED IN THE LAND OF EGYPT OR WOULD GOD WE HAD DIED IN THIS WILDERNESS” Num. 14:1-2 “And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into egypt?” v.3
Here they are, TOTALLY FORGETTING WHAT THE LORD DID TO DELIVER THEM FROM EGYPT—FROM SLAVERY!!!! And they are going off about how the Lord delivered them just to bring them to a place where they will be killed by these great giants. Because in the Israelite’s eyes—they are grasshoppers against these people, and they are totally looking at it from a selfish, personal interest way—in pride—-in TOTAL DOUBT——they do not believe or TRUST GOD!
Had they been content—-had they believed and trusted in the Lord——had they been at peace within their own hearts at the sight of the Cloud by day and the Fire by night—-had they taken to heart the MIRACLES that God Almighty performed on their behalf out of His Great Love for them—–had they any sight at all to see with eyes of faith instead of fleshly eyes of doubt——they would have entered into the Promised Land.
Caleb and Joshua, the 2 spies that actually believed the Lord and knew He would deliver the people into their hands so that Israel would be able to enter and possess the promised Land, spoke out to them and told them not to rebel against the Lord and not to fear because the Lord was with them and would deliver the land into their possession (v.9).
The Israelites response? STONE THEM.
The Lord was greatly displeased, and he appeared and said to Moses, “How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” v. 11
The Lord you can sense is in heartbreak at the sight of His chosen people totally doubting His great power and love and wisdom here……
And that ultimately leads to the Lord declaring that “because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it” v. 22-23
So here we have it:
- Israel saw the Glory of God
- They saw His miracles!!!!!!!!!! (and still didn’t believe, think of that!)
- They tempted Him 10 times
- They did not hearken to His voice
- They will not see the Land that He promised to the fathers–Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because they murmurred and provoked Him and did not believe Him
HEAR GOD’S MESSAGE TO US
Paul is the one who, by and through the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, exhorted the Philippians to “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world”.
Paul knew the whole Old Testament as we call it. See how through Him the Holy Spirit gives insight into the meaning of what the Israelites did, and how we are to learn from them.
He exhorts the Philippians and us to do all things WITHOUT murmurings and disputings.
- That we may be blameless and harmless
- The sons of God
- Without rebuke in the midst of a perverse nation
- Among whom we shine as lights in the world
So if you reverse that—- and we do all things WITH murmurrings and disputings, we will be:
- Blameable and harmful
- Not the sons of God
- With rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation
- Among whom we DO NOT shine as lights in the world
Paul always wrote for the believers everywhere to give thanks in all things, and to do all unto the Glory of God! See, he realized from knowing and spiritually discerning that the Israelites murmurred and therefore they died in the wilderness, never having been to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, where they were to find rest!
We must learn from their example, and to be ever on guard for what is coming out of our mouths—-if it be negative complaining, then we need to evaluate our hearts, and asK the Lord to reveal what is in our hearts that we may confess it and repent.
It will take time and practice to take our thoughts captive, and to replace the negative things with the truth and Word of God—-so that when we open our mouths it will be to the giving of thanks to God our Father, and to bless, and to praise the Lord.
There is no room for complaining. Let us seek God for this heart change!
****** It is SO easy to get distracted and to think on things that are impure, sinful, false, and things that totally steal our life, joy, and peace. Unless we seriously evaluate what we are thinking about, and allow the Lord to show us that what we are thinking about is wrong—- and until we purposefully think about what is pure, right, true, etc. with a view to obtaining these GOOD things, out of our heart will flow all the things that are stealing our life and joy. The heart and mouth are connected—- whatever is in our hearts will come out. And if what is coming out is negative, complaining, sinful, etc…then we can be sure we are not THINKING about what is good, right pure, etc.!