Grumbling, Grumbling, Grumbling

“Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling agaist him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD” (Exodus 16:8 NIV emphasis added).

3) Do you think they all started grumbling at once? I don’t. I think it started with a few murmurs and grew like an approaching train.

Back in the late 50’s, there was a movie called “The Blob.” The blob looked like a massive pile of silly putty that rolled along swallowing up everything and everyone in its path. That’s what grumbling and gossiping can do among believers. It too rolls along swallowing up unsuspecting victims along the way.

God didn’t take too kindly to Miriam’s grumbling. While she started out whispering about Moses’ choice of a wife, that was not really the issue at all. It was jealousy pure and simple. Actually, there was nothing “pure” about it.

“Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken as well through us?” Her words and attitude of jealousy were just as destructive to the cause of God as infectious leprosy that ate away at her fingers and toes. Why was only Miriam punished and not Aaron? I imagine that she was the principle instigator of the ill-spoken words and Aaron happened to be in the blob’s path.

Let’s back up to Numbers 12:3: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Theologians suggest that the word “miserable” is a better translation of the Hebrew word than “humble.” “Ever since Numbers 11:1, one thing after another had brought pressure on Moses so that in 11:14 he whimpers to God that he is not able to bear the load any longer. He even asks that he might die to be relieved of the pressures. Now with this assault of his sister and brother, it was simply too much. He was now the most “miserable” man on the earth. He had found his lot so difficult, his task so unmanageable, his pressure so intense that he called out to God saying, “It is too much!” (11:14) “Now the man Moses was exceedingly miserable, more than any man on the face of the earth!”
( Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Commentary Volume I: Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p. 198.)

When someone is bending under the pressure of trying to please God and the grumblers he or she is trying to serve, what is needed is not more booing and hissing from the crowd but cheers and holy pep talks from the team. [tweetherder][/tweetherder]”Do all things without grumbling,” Paul encourages the church at Philippi (Philippians 2:14 NASB). Timothy writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

So we have a choice. We can be like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible who dispensed encouragement from under the honey tree and walked side-by-side with Christian soldiers into battle. (See Judges 4-5). Or we can be like the prophetess Miriam who stirred up strife and caused the march to the Promised Land to come to a complete stop. The difference lies right under our noses.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, forgive me when I grumble. I know that ultimately, when I grumble, I am grumbling against You. Help me to be an encourager and use my words to minister to those around me. Help me to build up and not tear down, to encourage and not discourage, and to fan the flames of hope rather than extinguish the sparks of a dream.
In Jesus’ Name,

What do You Think? 

Just try saying the word grumble with a smile on your face. It doesn’t work, does it? I’m sitting here trying now. I sure hope no one’s looking.

Let’s think about this. When we are grumbling about our circumstances, who are we really grumbling against?

Do you see yourself as a person who grumbles or a person who is grateful?

What do you need to do to change?

Make a list of things you are grateful for today! Leave a comment orvisit  my Facebook page and tell me at least 3 things you’re thankful for today.

Want More?

If you would like to learn more about how to be a Deborah who encourages others to walk into battle rather than a Miriam who stops progress, you’ll want to read The Power of a Woman’s Words. And to go deeper into God’s Word and learn about the incredible gift of words that He has entrusted to us, you’ll want to read The Power of a Woman’s Words Bible Study Guide.There is also a teaching DVD available. Check it out! It is perfect for individual or group study.

42 Responses to Grumbling, Grumbling, Grumbling

  1. Rametria December 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    3 Things That I Am Grateful For:
    1. God’s unfailing love & His mercy
    2. My life- for every trial, everyone, & everything
    3. This very moment 🙂

    • Cynthia , Charlotte, NC December 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      1. I’m grateful for God’s grace & mercy that is renewed daily.
      2. I’m thankful for God never failing to supply my needs.
      3. I’m thankful that l am a work in progress and God is still working on me & through me!

  2. Pamela B. December 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I am grateful for Waking Up this morning, for having a roof over my head when so many people don’t today, I am most Thankful for Gods’ unlimited love & forgiveness.

  3. ladelphia bee December 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Three things I am grateful for is!

    That I woke up this morning I’m also grateful for the health and strength that I have each day, and I am gratful for having God love and his mercy and the presence of the holy spirit in my life.

  4. Jenny December 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    I am so very thankful for my God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, God’s holy inspired word, my husband, my children, my church and friends, my salvation, Proverbs 31 women, my home, the very breath of air I breath. There is so much to be thankful for and the list could go on and on. I AM JUST THANKFUL AND GREATFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING! Love and prayers to you ladies…God bless you all!

  5. Amy December 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I’m so thankful for this wonderful time of year when we get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, I’m thankful beyond words for my wonderful hubby, for my 5 great kiddos & extended family members, for my husband’s job…….SO much to be thankful for!

  6. Rock December 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Today I am grateful that God is with me even in my darkest moments. I am grateful that He has provided a way of escape whether I accept it or not. But what I am most grateful for today is that He is the Lord and he does not change and he is the same yesterday, today and forever!

  7. Roslyn December 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    3 things that I am Grateful for
    1. For this day, today, that the LORD has made and I woke up rejoicing!
    2. I am Grateful for VICTORY promised by the original Promise Keeper
    3. I am Grateful for 2 beautiful and healthy grandchildren!!
    4. I am Grateful that GOD Chose Me!(my bonus)

  8. Debbie B. December 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m grateful for so many things, but since you asked for just 3 – my salvation through Jesus Christ, my immediate family (husband, children & grandchildren) and good health.

  9. Joyce Rogers December 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    3 Things I am Grateful for:

    I am Grateful for Jesus – His Grace and Mercy
    I am grateful for my Family both natural and spiiritual
    I am grateful for All Blessings He gives me

  10. Tracy December 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    The three things that I’m grateful for are:

    1) my two beautiful children
    2) my family
    3) my health
    and I’m also very blessed to have a job, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in every night, and to have a spiritural connection with some very special people.

    Thank you Jesus!!!

  11. Lori M. December 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I am grateful for so many things but here are 3 important ones
    1. My grown children will both be home for Christmas so the family will all be together for the first time in over 6 months.
    2. My mom’s lung surgery was a success and she is cancer free!
    3. I am learning so many interesting things in my Masters class
    And as always I’m so grateful God is with me every moment of every day!

  12. jl December 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Im grateful for
    1.His love,grace and mercy
    2. Salvation
    3.For another day.
    God is so Good to us!!!

  13. Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    I am greatful for the good things and the bad things, we benefit from both if we just take amin to realize it.
    I am greatful for God’s Grace in my life
    and I am thankful for my family and friends.

  14. Anita December 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    The 3 things I’m most greatful for:
    1. God so Loved me that He gave Jesus to die for my sins
    2. The promises that were made to me by our Righteous Father He has fulfilled them
    3.When I allow myself not to see Him as the center of my life He so tenderly draws me back to Him
    .Love that just never gives up Thank You Heavenly Father

  15. Tesheda December 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Three things I am Grateful for:
    1. Having God in my life and feeling and knowing His Presence.
    2. Healthy kids and family
    3. God blessing us with all our needs and some wants.

  16. Debbie M December 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Today I thank the Lord for:
    my family, my job and our home

  17. Elaine Tomasello December 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I am grateful for:
    (1) the unconditional love & grace of the Lord
    (2) the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!
    (3) My family & friends

  18. Ruth L December 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    I am grateful my amazing husband!
    I am grateful for my seven marvelous children!
    I am grateful for my wonderful job!

  19. Diane December 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    So grateful that instead of grumbling I can praise God for all HE has provided during this difficult season my family is experiencing, because I am confident our LORD sees and knows what we need. We’ve yet to go without necessities, and we still find extra to share with others. My heart is so full of gratitude I could go on and on…

  20. Sandra S. December 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    1. i am thankful for life.

  21. Sandra S. December 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    1. I am thankful for life. 2. Health. 3. My family. I just want God is good, all the time.

  22. Justine December 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    I, just as all of us sisters, am grateful for SO many things! But here are my top three:

    1) God’s saving Grace, Mercy and Compassion, and that He saved me from a life of sin. This is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and ever will.
    2) My husband
    3) Our home, with the mortgage, taxes and insurance paid for!

    God Bless! Justine

  23. Helen December 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I am grateful for a God who loves me unconditionly.
    I am grateful for a church family that works together for the glory of God
    I am grateful for my family and the challenges and joys that they bring.


  24. Shannon B. December 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Three Things I am Thankful For :
    1- That Jesus is my LORD and Saviour
    2-For my very own life
    3-My all of Family , and the fact that Jesus watches over them for me.


  25. Erin December 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I thank God for a warm house to live in, a wonderful family, and the peace that comes from knowing God is in charge at all times, especially during times of uncertainty!

  26. tonya December 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I’m thankful for salvation grace family good health my home aNd car christin freinds and no more lack. Hallelujah

  27. shirley parker December 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    1.I am greatful for my health and strenght
    2. great and thankful for my family
    3.I am most greatful and thankful that God loves me

  28. Nancy Beneteau December 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    I am grateful to God for giving me a second chance with life and not giving up with me.
    I am grateful for this cute little house in which I live
    I am grateful for my family.both extended and immediate.
    There is just so much I am thankful for. I can’t sum it up in 3 choices. The Lord God has showered me with more Blessings than I can count. I don’t deserve half of what he has given me. I thank him everyday.

  29. Susan P December 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, the roof over my head, my family, friends & God’s love for all of us!

  30. Ariana December 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    I am grateful for:

    1. Having God in my life as my special friend;
    2. Having a blessed job;
    3. Having Peace in my heart no matter the circumstances in life;
    4. Having such good friends and a blessed family.

  31. Courtney December 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    1. That God sees the bigger picture when I don’t. 2. That He forgives me. 3. That He allows me to work at a wonderful school with awesome teachers and kids and has given me wonderful friends and that He always provides what I need.

  32. Sarah December 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I am grateful for:
    1. Jesus, my savior and intercessor.
    2. My own home.
    3. My husband.

  33. Carol December 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    I am grateful for sites like this to keep me on track, my wonderful family and friends, and our Savior, Jesus.

  34. Sandi Greene December 7, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Hello Sharon…thanks for your commitment to God’s word. You probably caught this already but check with your editor prior to each release. Today’s devotion attributes 1 Thess. to Timothy but as you know Paul wrote 1 Thess. (Even though Timothy’s thoughts are probably contributions).

    Best Regards,

  35. Cindy December 7, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    I am thankful that 1) God allowed me to live long enough to enjoy retirement, that 2) I am blessed with a loving, supportive, non-controlling husband that I adore, and 3) that God always answers my prayers….

  36. Channy B. December 7, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    I am grateful for:
    1. His grace and mercy.
    2. Peace of mind with my health issues.
    3. Running back to Him after a life in the world. Nobody GREATER

    • kara December 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm #


  37. Holly December 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I am thankful for my Sister’s encouragement, my best friend, faithful companion and house & yard guardian – my dog named Lola, the comforts of my home and to be able to read encouraging bible devotions every morning to jump start my day!

  38. Hopeson December 11, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I thank the Almighty God for the direction to visit your site.
    I’m very grateful that:
    1. The Lord God Almighty has given me good robust …..
    2. He has also bless my family with the abundance of his grace
    3.He is blessing the orphans and the widows(er) in the whole country.

  39. kara December 11, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    I am thankful for my husband, all that God has blessed us with, and my family.

  40. Funmi Lamuye December 12, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    I am,grateful for the gift of my life,
    I am grateful for the privilege of having God as my father, for the privilege of having been brought out of the miry clay. The gift salvation.
    I am grteful for my position in the affairs of my country, for where I am presently and for where He is taking me.

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