Grumbling About Grumbling

Throughout my life I have grumbled about a lot of things, often related to the actions of other people. I have also heard my fair share grumbling from other people. So when I read Exodus 16, verse 8 jumped out at me — particularly the last sentence: “Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord (NIV).”

It made me wonder if we look at our grumbling as complaining to God instead of complaining to people? In Exodus 16 the Israelites are complaining because they lack the food they had in Egypt. Verse 2 tells us, “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.” In the next verse they accuse Moses of bringing them into the desert to starve to death.

The Israelites had forgotten that God appointed Moses as the person to bring them out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10). The irony is that they grumbled about being freed from the slavery they grumbled about before they left Egypt. They could only focus on their current discomfort, not God’s plan to lead them into “a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:17).” Instead they choose to grumble and blame Moses for their current struggles.

God offers us eternal life through Jesus Christ; life with him in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21). He has appointed people in our life to guide us to this new land, to help us grow in our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we struggle in life let us remember that when we grumble at people for directing us to do hard things, we are actually grumbling at God; a God full of love and grace who wants what is best for us.

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! – James 5:9

© 2018 CGThelen

#Retrospective: This post originally published May 15, 2018.

12 thoughts on “Grumbling About Grumbling

  1. As a few have commented already it’s easy to fall into a grumbling pattern. We must take care to lift ourselves out of environments that encourage this behaviour, either by speaking up or physically going somewhere else. When I catch myself grumbling I try to turn to God right in that moment, and turn the grumble into a prayer for that person. It’s a little thing, and is easy to do without sincerity, so often it turns into repentance for my own iniquity.

    Thank you for sharing these passages and these messages. Peace, to you.

    1. Good advice — taking ourselves out of the situation that encourages grumbling.
      I like your idea of turning grumbling into a prayer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  2. This is so true. The enemy likes when we complain and grumble and used it against us. Today after speaking with someone about this ussue I began to write a post about complaining. Thanks for your word of confirmation.

  3. Wow, now there’s a thought. I may think I’m just grumbling to the mirror, but I’m actually grumbling against God. This is a powerful thought, CG, and it pertains as much now as it did in 2018 when you wrote it. Blessings

    1. Your comment made me think of Phillipians 4:10: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” That is a hard one for me — to be content and not grumble. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  4. Ah, the grumble struggle, I know it well. Thank you for your insights into our grumbling against God. How often I/we turn to others to complain instead of bringing our concerns to the Almighty.
    Pastor Chuck

  5. Oh goodness, I’m easy to grumble and have to watch that constantly. In a world gone mad it’s easy to tend to and nourish grumbling which leads directly to the bitter train. Caution! Thank you for this timely and important reminder!

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