Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Complaining the Silent Curse" (Exo 15-17)

Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. (Exo 15:22-25a)

Even when surrounded by bitter waters, there is a God who can rescue you. Pray don't complain (Phil 4:6)
Today I tackle a subject that affects us all. In a world where we seek constantly to "have it our way" the curse of complaining takes center stage. Why use such a strong word to describe an everyday way of life? As we grow in wisdom we realize that the loudest voice is not usually the right one and sometimes it takes looking from the outside to see more clearly.
Looking from the outside we see in Exodus 15 what happens to the people of Israel three days after God frees them from the bondage of Egypt. Three days after witnessing the greatest miracle ever when the Red sea was parted in two so that they may cross on dry land. Three days after this, then comes the complaining. 
Observe the contrast between Moses and the people of Israel. The people complain to Moses because they are thirsty but Moses prays to God about it. Then God answers Moses prayer by giving him a directive. When he obeys, his prayer is answered. Reading further to Exodus 16 we see some more complaining  but this time they complained because they were hungry, "There, too, the whole community of Israel complained to Moses and Aaron.“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Don't you just want to scream at them saying, "Come on now! could you even think of going back to the cesspool of slavery in can you forget so soon?" 
Now as I scream at them I realize I am screaming at myself. How many times have I complained about my current pain forgetting the many times God has rescued me. How often have you wanted to go back to that abusive boyfriend because you are facing chills of loneliness right now. How many times do we want things to be perfect, people to be perfect, and when they are not... the complaining begins. 
Would you take the challenge this month to stop complaining? Phil 4:6 "Stop Complaining" by Skye (For a slower connection use this link)

So does God want us to hide from the truth or avoid voicing out our current reality? Not at all, but what the Lord will ask is this...Pray and Obey

Moses prayed and God told him what to do, when he did it, there was fresh water to drink. How does God speak to us today? He speaks primarily through his word. Here is what he says we are to do when faced with less than perfect situations....
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done....then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

So this week when you feel the urge to complain or grumble about anything in life, big or small....stop....and think about how to pray and what to thank God for. This simple but difficult practice promises a life of peace. With the lord's help you can do it!....try it and be the judge of the results. May the obedience of this lesson be a comfort for your soul. Until next time, Read, Share and be Comforted

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