A Complaining Spirit Is A Stench In God's Nostrils

April 4

The setting:
Moses was leading the Jewish people through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. But they were not content.

"Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord;
for the Lord heard it, and his anger was aroused.
So the fire of the Lord burned among them,
and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp."
Numbers 11:1

There are some sins that are particularly offensive to the Lord as we learn by the Lord's reaction to them, and one of them is complaining. You'd think this were a small sin, but in fact it is huge before God. Why is that?

It's because it is the ultimate disrespect to the One who gives us life and provides for us all that we have. The focus of the complainer is on one's self, not on gratitude to his God.

Observe in the life of one you know who is prone to complaining, and notice that that spirit is never satisfied. Regardless what is provided, that one will complain about something else. It's the very opposite of an attitude of gratitude. It's constantly looking after the lusts of the flesh and focusing on one more thing it wants. And if that one more thing is provided, the person will go on to complain about something else. This is a stench in the nostrils of God.

vs 4-6:
"Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to lusting,
so the children of Israel also wept again and said:
'Who will give us meat to eat?
We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt,
the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;
but now our whole being is dried up;
there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!'”

The Lord had provided for them the manna from heaven every single day, but they got tired of it and lusted for meat. So Moses took their complaint to the Lord and here's what the Lord said:

vs 18:20
"Then you shall say to the people,
‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat;
for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying,
'Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.'
Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat.
You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days,
nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month,
until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you,
because you have despised the Lord who is among you,
and have wept before him, saying,
'Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?'”

Yes, he gave them meat alright:

vs 31:32
"Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea...
...all around the camp, and about two cubits
above the surface of the ground.
And the people stayed up all that day, all night,
and all the next day, and gathered the quail…"

Complaining is not the way to go, it will profit you nothing. If the complainer persists, sometimes the Lord will give him quail till it comes out of his nostrils, but it will not be a blessing, it will be a curse.

"They soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel,
but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert.
AND HE GAVE THEM THEIR REQUEST
BUT SENT LEANNESS INTO THEIR SOUL."
Psalm 106:13-15

"...but sent leanness into their soul…"

The bottom line is that God has a unique plan for every person, and he will provide ALL that person needs to succeed in his or her call, and more. Recognize that in your life. Be thankful for his particular purpose for you, and be confidant that all you need to succeed in God's plan for your life will be provided you. Confess the sin of dissatisfaction and repent.

Live in an attitude of gratitude and more will be given to you, not as a curse, but as God's blessing on the appreciative.