“Grumble”–we don’t use that word much anymore—though we do plenty of it. Out of curiosity I looked it up in the dictionary: Grumble: “to mutter in discontent.” But listen to these related words: “fuss, gripe, holler, whine, groan, moan, complain.” Now, those I can identify with!
Did you know that God puts grumbling in the same category as idolatry and sexual immorality? Evidently God sees complaining as a surprisingly serious sin – more than I do. Here is the example He gives us in the Bible. The Children of Israel were on their way from Egypt to the land God had promised them. Along the way things did not go as expected—and they didn’t hesitate to make sure their leader knew exactly how they felt! They clearly had an “attitude”, and as a result, most of them died in the wilderness because they did not believe and obey God.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Corinthians 10:6). What were those “evil things”? Paul mentions four: idolatry, sexual immorality, testing the Lord–and grumbling! Paul says, “Do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and …warnings for us” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Then he adds, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
Well, that’s plain enough—an example and a warning not to gripe. I’m glad the next verse is one of reassurance. Paul says: “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Thank you for that promise, Lord. I’m sure I’ll need it!