26 March 2010 (Sheshi/Friday)|
Day #11, 5934 AM
The Complaining Heart
Gratitude is a Believer's True Attitude
Continued in Part 2
Haddon W. Robinson says that some people have turned complaining into such an art form that if you say, 'I don't have anything to complain about', they are happy to offer you some suggestions. They count their many blessings and then complain that there aren't more of them.
"The king of Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. So Israel made a vow to Yahweh, and said, 'If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.' And Yahweh listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of that place was called Hormah. Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against Elohim and against Moses: 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.' So Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, 'We have sinned, for we have spoken against Yahweh and against you; pray to Yahweh that He take away the serpents from us.' So Moses prayed for the people. Then Yahweh said to Moses, 'Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.' So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived" (Num.21:1-9, NKJV).
In our passage today we see that the Hebrew people had become the masters of complaint. They despised Yahweh's menu of manna, they despised the desert, they rebelled against Moses, and they spoke against Yahweh. Why did Yahweh punish them so severely? Because to despise Yahweh's blessings is no different from despising Yahweh Himself. But there was more, as the psalmist observed:
Basically, they turned their noses up at the Promised Land - it wasn't 'good enough' for them. They didn't believe what Yahweh said, they complained in their tents, and they would not obey.
"Then they despised the eretz chemdah (pleasant, desirable land); they did not believe His word, but complained in their tents, and did not heed the voice of Yahweh" (Ps.106:24-25, NKJV).
There are lots of 'believers' like that, sadly. I have inlaws with that disposition. They were always looking for people and churches that were 'better' and moving on, changing churches, spouses and beliefs. In the end they decided they were the best, no one could ever measure up to them, and concluded that they didn't need a church fellowship after all. They were good enough for themselves. They still complain, mind you, and their theology is totally confused. Most of them abandoned Yah'shua years ago.
A grateful heart does not complain because a grateful heart is focussed on giving glory to Yahweh and not fulfilling personal 'needs' (real or imagined).
There was once an old man who asked a young stranger in the post office for some help writing as his handwriting was shakey. 'Could you address this postcard for me?' The young man gladly did so and then offered to write a short note for the old fellow. Finally the gracious young stranger asked: 'Now is there anything else I can do for you?' The old man thought for a minute and said: 'Yes, at the end you could add, 'Please excuse the sloppy handwriting'".
If you found that old man's attitude irritating then you can understand why Yahweh doesn't take our complaining lightly either. He does not tolerate despised grace. That old man despised the young man's loving kindness. He should have expressed a word of grattitude instead of making a sarcastic rebuke. I doubt that young man offered to help the old one again. Would you have?
When you feel like complaining, stop to count your blessings - think about them and thank Yahweh for them. Then, in addition to all He has given us, He will give us a grateful heart and make us attractive to others.