“They grumbled and found fault with everything and closed their hearts to your voice.” Psalms 106:25 TPT In my devotional time this week, as I read Psalm 106, “they grumbled and found fault with everything” stood out. The words hit me like a brick. At that moment, the second of impact, I had – believe it or not - been complaining about the psalm being too long and not the peppiest. I was grumbling about God’s word! In my mind, the countless times my wife, children, and others calling me out for my grumbling echoed. Geez, nothing is ever good enough for you. You find fault in everything!
God had just delivered the people of Israel, his chosen ones, through the Red Sea. Before their eyes, God had parted the waters, forming a wall of water on each side, creating dry ground beneath their feet and through the sea, enabling them to walk across. Afterwards, God sent the water walls crashing down on their enemies who had mistakenly pursued them. Despite God’s mind-blowing miracle, barely a praise and worship song seem to have passed before the Israelites are complaining about being hungry. Instead of continuing to praise God for their deliverance through the deep, they begin complaining and demanding food. Give us something good to eat! Now!!
I can almost hear, Ice Cream! Ice Cream! We all scream for ice cream! What I don't hear is faith that the God who can part the Sea will see to it that they have plenty of food to eat. No one says, I can't wait to see what's for dinner! Safe on the other side, the Israelites continued their journey to the Promised Land. While God’s saving miracles continue – water from the rock, a pillar of fire to lead them, bread from heaven, for Israel nothing will ever be good enough.
Hey, what’s that white stuff that looks like the bread that rained down last night on our camp?
It’s called “manna,’ bread from heaven.
Yuck! We don’t want that!! It tastes wierd. It's not hard to see myself among Moses’ followers. God has delivered me through the Sea of Cancer. God has provided all my needs for a lifetime. God has given me Jesus to be my Savior, to forgive my sin and give me eternal life and a relationship with the Father. God has given me a wonder life- a loving wife, great kids, family, faithful friends... and another day to enjoy it all. You might think I would be the last person to grumble. Wrong! If you could have heard me just the other morning. Who left that box of cereal opened? Now it’s all stale! Wasted!
Does anyone else in this house know how to put dishes in the dishwasher?!?! Now more than ever in our world filled with trouble - natural disasters, racial reckoning, political chaos, disease and death...just to name a few - we have many good reasons to grumble. I’m quite sure you have your own grievances. Yet you and I both know that deep down we aren’t created to grumble and find fault. We are created to give thanks and praise to God and be grateful. Gratitude feels better, uplifts us and others, and makes the day better. There are still so many reasons to be thankful and a ton of good to be found.
Ironically, Psalm 106 begins and ends with the call to give God thanks and praise. The final verses call us to not just thank and praise God for what He has done, but – don’t miss it - to also pledge and prepare to thank and praise God for what he WILL do in the future!
“Do it again, Lord! Save us, O Lord, our God! Gather us from our exile and unite us together so that we will give our great and joyous thanks to you again and bring you glory by our praises.” Psalms 106:47 TPT
I’m reminded of a favorite verse, one that can be easily committed to memory. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NRSV It may not be easy, but it’s God’s will for us. With Christ’s help, we can do this. If God has called you to it, God will help you do it!
One way to be more grateful and grumble less is to make a list of things for which you are thankful. Let’s spend some time looking for what IS good. When you see it, write it on your list and thank God. Consider naming all your thanksgivings in your prayer time. If there’s a person on that list, send a thank you note.
Here’s a great song by one of my favorite Christian songwriters and worship leaders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM. Take a listen and perhaps be inspired to start counting your blessings!
How Cancer Cured Me (2020)
Discussion Question (Let me know what you think):
What are some things or some ones for that you are thankful for? How do you grumble less and be grateful more?