Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 35 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Exodus 16 today and our focus is on the danger of fussing, as we say in the south. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Dubai, UAE, Rajasthan, India, Hamburg, Germany, Houston, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. Thanks for listening! Our goal this year is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!
Following up on our episode from yesterday about Barnabas, our friend WhereWhatHuh writes:
Barnabus is my New Testament hero. After Jesus, he is the man I would most like to imitate. He was known for giving strength to the weak with his words. He was known to be generous. He was famously accepting of new believers, even Paul/Saul. He was willing to go to great lengths to spread the gospel. He was supportive even of those whose faith was not strong enough to complete a mission (Like John Mark, writer of the Gospel of Mark). Someday, I will shake Barnabas’ hand.
I’m with you on that, WhereWhatHuh – Barnabas is the best, and the opposite of what we are talking about today, because we are up to our eyeballs in grumbling, complaining, whining, fussing, grousing, whinging, bewailing, yammering, and belly-aching. Most of us would not rank complaining as a particularly egregious sin, but it turns out, surprisingly, that the Bible takes a dimmer view of complaining than we do. Consider this warning from Paul:
0 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and were killed by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:10-11
Paul is referring back to an incident in Numbers 16 where the people had grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and God had sent a powerful judgment against them, leading to a plague where thousands died. Another warning from James:
Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door! (James 5:9)
In warning about an end-times group of wicked people that will be judged at the second coming of Christ, Jude begins his description of them with the fact that the wicked he is referring to are complainers:
16 These people are discontented grumblers, living according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage. Jude 16
And finally, one more exhortation from Paul:
14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, Philippians 2:14-15
On the negative side, complaining puts us in a dangerous position with God, but on a positive side, NOT complaining, arguing and grumbling allows us to shine like stars in a world filled with people who are NOT shining. Literally part of what it means to be the light of the world is that we not complain, grumble and argue.
Let’s read our passage on Manna and note how often the Israelites complain here – a practice that will eventually result in much trouble for them.
We will close with Spurgeon’s comments on God’s grace on Israel’s first round of complaints during the Exodus:
One would have expected a far severer rebuke than this, but the Lord was very pitiful towards them, as he is also towards us. These first murmurings were not visited so severely as those further on. The Lord is loath to use his rod.
And then later, when Spurgeon is commenting on Numbers 14: 27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: (It is an awful thing when the Lord takes men, at their word, and says Amen to their wicked speeches. They said that they were brought out to die in the wilderness, and the Lord tells them that die they shall. It was at this time that the Lord swore in his wrath, that they should not enter into his rest.)C. H. Spurgeon, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1964), 122.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
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