Tag: complaining

Rabble-rousers take the heat!

Scripture Reading for February 13: Numbers 9-12

The Israelites are now ready to move out from Mt. Sinai, having just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary of leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year now and are ready to go to the land of promise.  What excitement must have filled their hearts as they prepared to follow the cloud of God to their new home!  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and the cloud of God’s glory overshadowed the nearly three million people and animals.

But soon after moving out, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp.  They were often not true Israelites and were of mixed descent.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with this God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot and dry, and the journey got long and tiring, these “rabble-rousers” began craving the foods of Egypt, remembering that the food there was “free”. (Numbers 11:4-6)  They let God and Moses know about it! God sent fire burning up the rabble and Moses interceded. (Numbers 11:1-3) 

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who are not happy unless they stir up some trouble.  Their pastor is not ‘feeding’ them. They don’t like the music.  The youth pastor has a tattoo.  The pastor’s wife is cold and aloof!  Nothing is as good as it used to be with the last pastor!  They complain that sermons are too long, the drums are too loud, and the pastor walked right by me and didn’t say ‘hello’ or shake my hand! We forget that when we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to take care of us and do right by us. 

Have you ever heard the people of God complaining about conditions in your church? Why do we remember the past with rose-colored glasses? Are there changes in your own heart and attitude that God is revealing to you through this story?

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Connection breakers!

Scripture Reading for February 13th: Numbers 9-12

The Israelites are ready to move out from Mt. Sinai after receiving the ten commandments.  They have just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary after leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year and are ready to go to the land of promise.  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and God in the cloud overshadowed them.

Shortly after moving out from Mt. Sinai, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp, often not true Israelites.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with the God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot, and the journey got long, these “rabble-rousers” would cause trouble.  They craved the foods of Egypt. (Numbers 11:4-6)  God sent fire, burning up some of this group and Moses prayed for them. (Numbers 11:1-3)

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who like to complain and belly-ache!  Their pastor never does anything right.  God has brought them to this point to let them die.  They don’t like the music.  They don’t like the youth pastor.  The pastor’s wife is cold and aloof!  Nothing is as good as it used to be with the last pastor!  The sermons are too long, the drums are too loud, and the pastor walked right by me and didn’t say hello or shake my hand!

When we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to care for us and do right by us.  This complaint makes God angry! (Numbers 11:10)  The leader feels bad too.  When things don’t go as you expect or desire, avoid the temptation to complain.  Instead, pray for your leadership.  Look for something good to say and encourage them. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  Remember that rabble-rousers always end up taking the heat! (fire from God!)

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Rabble-rousers!

Scripture Reading for February 14th: Numbers 9-12

In today’s reading, the Israelites are ready to move out from Mt. Sinai after receiving the ten commandments.  They have just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary of leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year now and are ready to go to the land of promise.  What excitement must have filled their hearts as they prepared to follow the cloud of God to their new home!  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and went in the lead with the cloud overshadowing them.  What a sight!  Nearly 3 million people and animals moving through the desert!

Shortly after moving out from Mt. Sinai, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp.  They were often not true Israelites and were of mixed descent.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with this God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot and dry, and the journey got long and tiring, these “rabble-rousers” began to cause trouble.  They began craving the foods of Egypt.  (Numbers 11:4-6)  They were tired of the manna and let God and Moses know about it!

God sent fire, burning up some of this group and Moses prayed for them. (Numbers 11:1-3)  The people began wailing and complaining and Moses became distraught, not knowing how to deal with all the trouble.

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who  like to complain and belly-ache!  They are not happy unless they stir up some trouble.   But when we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to take care of us or do right by us.  This complaint made God angry and His leaders usually feels bad too. (Numbers 11:10-12) When things don’t go as you expect or desire, avoid the temptation to complain.  Instead, pray for your leadership.  Ask them how you might help them.  Look for something good to say and encourage them. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  Remember that rabble-rousers always ended up taking the heat! (fire from God!)

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Rabble-rousers!

Scripture Reading for February 13: Numbers 9-12

In today’s reading, the Israelites are ready to move out from Mt. Sinai after receiving the ten big ones.  They have just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary of leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year now and are ready to go to the land of promise.  What excitement must have filled their hearts as they prepared to follow the cloud of God to their new home!  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and went in the lead with the cloud overshadowing them.  What a sight!  Nearly 3 million people and animals moving through the desert!

Shortly after moving out from Mt. Sinai, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp.  They were often not true Israelites and were of mixed descent.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with this God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot and dry, and the journey got long and tiring, these “rabble-rousers” began to cause trouble.  They began craving the foods of Egypt, remembering that the food there was “free”. (Numbers 11:4-6)  They were tired of the manna and let God and Moses know about it!

God sent fire, burning up some of this group and Moses prayed for them. (Numbers 11:1-3)  The people began wailing and complaining and Moses became distraught with God for all the trouble.  Rabble-rousers have a tendency to stir up a stink!

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who  like to complain and belly-ache!  They are not happy unless they stir up some trouble.  Their pastor never does anything right.  God has brought them to this point to let them die.  They don’t like the music.  They don’t like the youth pastor.  The pastor’s wife is cold and aloof!  Nothing is as good as it used to be with the last pastor!  The sermons are too long, the drums are too loud, and the pastor walked right by me and didn’t say hello or shake my hand!

When we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to take care of us and do right by us.  This complaint makes God angry! (Numbers 11:10)  The leader usually feels bad too.  When things don’t go as you expect or desire, avoid the temptation to complain.  Instead, pray for your leadership.  Ask them how you might help them.  Look for something good to say and encourage them. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  Remember that rabble-rousers always end up taking the heat! (fire from God!)

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The Joys of Leadership!

Scripture reading for January 24:  Exodus 16-18

For some reason, I’ve been in leadership positions all my life!  I’ve always felt inadequate and usually haven’t sought a leadership position; others always seemed to volunteer me.  As I’ve worked leading in various secular and church positions, I’ve become acutely aware of my inability to please everyone.  Moses soon learned this same truth!  There are as many opinions as there are people under you and Moses had over a million “followers”!

In the passages of the last few days, God’s redeemed people were delivered from Egypt by a mighty act of power by the Lord, and then from Pharaoh’s pursuing army!  Led by Miriam, Moses’ sister, they danced in joy and sang a song of deliverance!  Redeemed people sometimes expect everything to be handed to them and that their lives will be some kind of  fairy tale where they live happily ever after.  This picture is soon in need of readjustment as troubles bring us to acknowledge our lack of faith.

A few days after the victory celebration, the Israelites faced hunger and began to grumble.  They blamed Moses for his poor leadership and for bringing them out into the desert to die. (Exodus 16:3) God met their need!  A little farther into the walk, they ran out of water and began to grumble again, quarreling with Moses.  Their hearts were angry and hard and they blamed their leader, actually blaming God! (Exodus 16:8)  Each time, God came to Moses’ rescue!

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, came for a visit to bring back Moses’ wife and two sons.  Jethro was thrilled to hear the stories of God’s deliverance through his son-in-law.  He observed Moses sitting in judgment with all the people coming to him with their complaints.  His advice to Moses was to raise up some helpers to share the load of leadership.  Moses should just handle the ‘hard’ cases and let the others do the rest!  What a life-saver for this leader!

Lessons for today are plain.  First, pray and obey before you complain!  When you grumble about your leader,  you are grumbling about God!  Listen to your leadership and support them by prayer and encouragement!  Don’t test or blame God; He is never at fault!  (He makes no mistakes)  If you are a leader, raise up those who can help you with the work.  Sharing the load makes sense and enables others with giftings to share in the blessing and be a part of the solution!  Leadership is a joy when you take these tips and your followers do, too!  The main one to please in all of this is God.  May His face be smiling on your leadership!

1 Corinthians 10:1–4 (NIV)

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

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