Month 6:12, Week 2:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year 5935:154 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 10 September 2011
The Complaining Believer
A Contradiction in Terms
Continued from Part 4
I think that we are all guilty of the sin of complaining. And I don't just mean now and then but every day. If we could record every conversation we had during the day and then play it back in the evening, would we be surprised by how much grumbling and complaining we do? Children grip about tidying up their rooms and workspace. Mothers complain about having to pick up after everyone and fathers complain about their bosses and their work. You would be shocked by how much we complain in a typical working day.
"Do all things without complaining and disputing" (Phil.2:14, NKJV).
We underestimate the seriousness of the sin of complaining especially when we complain against divinely instituted toqef (authority). Moreover, Moses had proven by his actions that he had authority for he enjoyed the face of Yahweh Himself. This is one of the few passages that testifies that we are theomorphic, that is, having the same form as our Heavenly Father, for He "stood" in the door of the tabernacle "panim to panim", that is, "face to face" - and obviously you have to have a panim (face) to be able to do that.
"Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. So they said, 'Has Yahweh indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?' And Yahweh heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.) Suddenly Yahweh said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, 'Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!' So the three came out. Then Yahweh came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. Then He said, 'Hear now My words:
So the anger of Yahweh was aroused against them, and He departed. And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. So Aaron said to Moses, 'Oh, my master! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb!' So Moses cried out to Yahweh, saying, 'Please heal her, O Elohim (God), I pray!' Then Yahweh said to Moses, 'If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and after that she may be received again'" (Num.12:1-14, NKJV).
'If there is a prophet among you, I, Yahweh, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of Yahweh. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?'
Miriam and Aaron complained because they thought that because they had revelation (by the grace - unmerited favour - of Yahweh) like Moses did (by the grace - unmerited favour - of Yahweh) that they somehow had a 'right' to have the same toqef (authority), and could judge him on his choice of marriage partners (he had a Midianite and an Ethiopian wife). How wrong they were! For one thing, revelation is a gift, and not something we have earned. For another, toqef (authority) is an appointment, not something we 'qualify' for because of our supposed works. You may think that you have 'rights' of leadership on many different grounds, like heard work or aptitude, but this is not so. And thirdly, Moses had done no wrong in marrying the unnamed Ethiopian woman.
Israel complained a lot when they came out of Egypt, didn't they? After all that Yahweh had done for them, you'd have thought they would have been grateful and eager to obey Him. A grateful heart rarely complains! But because of their unbelief and rebellion, as typified here by Moses' sister Mirian and his brother Aaron, an entire generation never reached the Promised Land (v.23). Likewise, if we end our days complaining as professed believers we too will never reach the 'Promised Land' and forfeit the blessings of the first resurrection in the Millennial Land.
Today, as then, believers who grumble not only risk landing up with the second resurrection at the end of the Millennium but forfeit Yahweh's blessings in the here-and-now. Complainers spread discouragement to those around them. That type of attitude is inappropriate to a follower of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Pioneer missionary Hudson Taylor once said:
Do our words honour Yahweh? Do we spread simcha (joy) and encourage others to trust and obey Him or do we throw a wet blanket over them and discourage them from walking the set-apart (holy) life with uplifted spirits?
"If your father and mother, your sister and brother, yes, even the very cat and dog in your house are not happier for your being a Christian, it is a question whether you really are or not".
"The Christian with a thankful heart
Who Praises Yah throughout the day;
Will never grumble or complain
When things don't go his way"
(J. David Branon)
 Henry G. Bosch, No Complaints in Our Daily Bread (RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, Michigan: March-May 2000), April 10