Friday, January 13th, 2012
Who Didn't Get There
Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.
Exodus 16:8 (NAS)
The grumblers didn't get to the Promised Land. Unfortunately, almost everyone grumbled on that 40-year journey. Moses had his hands full, and his ears ached with their complaints. 'The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness' (Exodus 16:2).
When I first read the story of the Exodus, I was surprised by the number of Jews involved: 'About six hundred thousand men' (Exodus 12:37), plus women and children. The total estimate of 40-year travelers is over two million.
Of the 600,000 adult men departing Egypt, only two survived to cross the Jordan: Joshua and Caleb. They were the positive ones, the non-complainers. They were also part of a 40-day spy mission that involved twelve prominent men sent to scope out the Promised Land.
Ten of the twelve came back complaining: 'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us' (Numbers 13:31). Upon hearing their reports,
'All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!' ' (Numbers 14:2).
Only Joshua and Caleb stayed focused on God's promises: 'The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us--a land which flows with milk and honey' (Numbers 14:7-8).
Bottom line: be careful what you say. 599,998 negative people didn't get there. Yes, we are more than conquerors through Christ Who loves us, forgives us, and strengthens us. However, negative words still pack a powerful punch against those who speak them. I confess I have been a star in the semi-professional grumbling circuit.
But, that was then and this is now. Let us spit out Satan's bitter breath without uttering a word so that Jesus will not spit us out on judgment day (see Revelation 3:16).
The Lord of hosts and the kings of entertainment have at least one thing in common: for people to become stars they must stay positive--especially in difficult circumstances.
Grumbling is against the rules of advancement.