We hear it all throughout the Bible, and every day we hear someone telling us ‘just trust God.’ It sounds simple enough. We say to a friend to trust God, or sometimes we ask, ‘where’s your faith?’ We often say I believe God, or I trust God, and it’s in His hands. When in reality we grow impatient, worry, become anxious, and finally, we start to complain.
Throughout their history, Israel constantly complained to God and about God. Right after they left Egypt, they were complaining to Moses about the lack of water of food. We see the pattern repeated over and over. Then there is the idolatry that they are plunged into when they turn to the nations around them.
When we complain, we become like the children of Israel who were not satisfied. Over and over, God tells the writers of the Old Covenant that if they had only obeyed Him, He would have satisfied them and filled them to overflowing.
I the Lord am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 11- But My people did not listen to my voice, and Israel did not obey Me.
13- Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways.
14- I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their adversaries.
In Deuteronomy, God had Moses repeat the Law and the promises of God to a new generation, the generation that was born and raised in the wilderness. The generation before them murmured, complained, and groaned to Moses about God about everything.
They did not trust Him to provide or that He could deliver them into the promised land when ten spies gave an evil report. The pattern is repeated in the conquest of Canaan. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses outlines all of the benefits and blessings that God would heap on the Israelites ‘if they would obey His voice.”
Serve God With Joy and Gladness of Heart
Deuteronomy 28: 47
Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart for the abundance of all things; 48- therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord sends against you, in hunger, thirst, and nakedness and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.” (NASB)
God gave them the commandments as boundaries to protect them from all of the curses of the nations and their ‘gods.’ He told them to obey Him and His voice and what would happen if they didn’t. By not serving Him and complaining and turning to other gods, they were in essence not satisfied. There was no joy in the abundance of His provision. Had they realized His provision when the spies saw the abundance, then they would have all joyfully said, we can take the land, with God’s leadership, of course.
Testing God Equals Not Listening
If we serve God, then we must obey His voice. Obedience is trust, disobedience is a lack of trust and therefore is putting God to the test. When we do not trust God and complain, we are testing Him as the Israelites did in the wilderness.
Numbers 14:22 “ Surely all of the men who have seen my glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and the wilderness, yet they have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice.”
Did you catch that? Complaining is the same as testing God, and both of those equal not listening to His voice. We have the word of God, which tells us not to worry or not to be anxious but how much our heavenly Father loves us and will provide for us. He is always good and faithful. We want it instantly and the way we want it. We tend to complain if He does not do it the way we thought.
Perhaps our thought was derived from not listening. God’s written and spoken Word is what we need to live by. It is there for us, and we should say thank you and obey Him joyfully. When we believe His word, we do our part and wait and watch for Him to perform the rest.
Not Just an Old Covenant Thing
It’s not just an Old Testament topic. Paul writes on Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent children of God, without blemish in a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (ESV)
Paul was writing to the Church at Philippi to be thankful in all things and not give way to grumbling and complaining. He tells them it not only separates them from God but also diminishes their witness among the nations. That is exactly what happened to the Children of Israel in the Old Covenant. Their complaining went up to the ears of YHWH, and he heard and wanted to destroy them, but Moses stood up and interceded. Later, we see a plague break out after the Israeli men were fornicating with the Moabite and Midianite women. Phinehas stood up and interposed this time, but not in prayer but by throwing a spear into a guilty couple caught in the act.
There was a reason that God had forbidden them to marry and have sex with the other nations. They were supposed to obey God and be a ‘light to the other nations.” But they were not satisfied with God and did not serve or worship him with joy and a glad heart. Thus, instead of trusting Him and obeying and being satisfied, they put Him to the test and complained.
Entitled To What?
We hear so much of entitlement today. Every group uses the term to get what they want. That might be equality under the law, or some monetary gain or better jobs, or housing. Each group says that they ‘deserve’ it based on some quality.
Does any of us really deserve anything? Jesus died on the cross to keep us from what we deserve, banishment to hell or separation from God forever. We should live a life of joy and thanksgiving for that alone. But as believers and disciples, we are alive in the kingdom of God. We are born into it through repentance. He has provided so much for us, but we look around and want what the world offers.
Really? We feel that we deserve things of the world. God blesses us with the riches of His glory. Cars, houses, and good jobs are worthy things to have. God provides the best for His children. But, we cannot grumble and complain when He gives us a twenty-year-old car that runs and looks like a new one, and we wanted a $100,000 car and a million-dollar house when we just needed a cottage.
We don’t deserve it, but He provides for us. So, why are we not satisfied, and why do we serve Him with continual grumbling and complaining.
Remember, we laid down our lives when we came into the kingdom. Jesus is our Lord, and we should rejoice and be grateful.
It’s Time To Trust With All of Your Heart
Now is the hour to trust Him with all of your heart. After all, isn’t that the first commandment, ‘to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, emotions, etc.?’ In all that we do, we must quit complaining and trust Him, not test Him. Listen, obey and trust, not stop up your ears, complain and grumble. Don’t you get tired of complaining I do!!!!