August 4, 2014
God Does Not Like Whiners ~ Martin B. Copenhaver
Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? From Numbers 20:1-13
One of the messages from this passage from the Book of Numbers is easily summarized: God does not like whiners. God had just led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt when they started whining about where they ended up, in a land where there was little vegetation and no visible source of water. In response, God told Moses to strike a rock and water poured out of it, but God was not too happy about it and said, in essence, “This group of whiners is never going to make it to the promised land.”
God doesn’t always expect us to be cheery. In fact, it is evident from scripture that God welcomes lament and even complaint as legitimate responses to the hardships of life. The difference is that whiners always find a way to whine, regardless of circumstance.
They tell a story in Vermont about a farmer who always moaned about his crop yields. Every harvest seemed to fall short. Then, one year, after a spectacular bumper crop, a fellow farmer said, “Well, even you will have to admit this was a good year.” To which the whining farmer replied, “Yes, but it was terribly hard on the soil.”
Whiners always find reason to whine. And those whose lives are marked by gratitude always find reason to give thanks. It is clear which kind of person God expects us to be.
PRAYER: God, please hear my complaints when life is difficult, but, dear God, please don’t let me become a whiner. Instead, trace my heart with gratitude. Amen
Taken from the United Church of Christ devotional, God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 231.