Lyn Cooke Christian Blog and Commentary

Thoughts on Grumbling

My apologies for this coming so late! I had promised this post for last Monday but we had something come up in our family this week, then we lost our internet.  So, without further adieu, I give you a little word study. My prayer is that you will be blessed.

It's creeps in on me. Slowly, by degrees. I'm hardly aware of it until that moment when I can't even stand to be around me!

Life has knocked me around a bit with illness and teenagers and work and … well, you know the drill. And I've started grumbling. 

Grumble: v.  - to murmur or mutter with discontent, to make ill complaints in a low voice and a surly manner.

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;and all ate the same spiritual food;and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

                                      1 Corinthinans 10:1-12

Grumble, goggusmos, is the Greek word Paul uses here and it means "a smoldering discontent". He references the nation of Israel in this passage, specifically Korah's rebellion in Numbers 16. Korah incited an uprising against Moses' and Aaron's authority. He recruited 250 leaders to challenge Moses' and Aaron's positions as leaders stating that Israel was the Lord's covenant nation and everyone should have equal status. Korah seemed to forget that God, Himself, elected Moses and Aaron to lead Israel for as long as He deemed necessary.

Korah's infectious rebellion cost thousands their lives.The earth swallowed them up!  How did this happen? 

The Israelites were poised to enter the Promised Land. They sent out spies to see this long, awaited territory. And when the spies returned, the report were less than favorable.  Things looked bleak. Everyone was scared. Maybe Korah wanted to take matters into his own hands because it felt better to do something rather than to trust in God's provision.

At the very heart of it, Korah's rebellion was against God.

Isn't it why Satan fell from heaven?

When I grumble, I launch my own little rebellion. I shake my fist at God instead of raising my hands in thanksgiving and praise.   

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

                                                                                                                   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

                                                                                                                    Colossians 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice!

                                                                                                                     Philippians 4:4

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

                                                                                                                      Philippians 4:6-7

Paul has much to say about giving thanks. He isn't, however, suggesting that we wipe a smile on our face and pretend with God.  We are to tell God our concerns.  We are to tell God everything!  With thanksgiving. And as I pour out my heart with thanksgiving, He guards my heart and my mind. I am covered as I praise.

But what about in hardship, when life beats hard against us and circumstances threaten our very lives? Is it possible to give thanks even then?  

Paul was beaten with rods, stoned and shipwrecked. He received thirty-nine lashes five times. Once would be bad enough, but five times! I mean, if somebody had an opportunity to be bitter or complain, I think Paul qualifies. And yet, he is the one who encourages us the most about rejoicing even in sorrow.

This leaves us with one simple question. How?

I believe our part is to yield, to open our hands and give up our stake to grumble. I believe it is a discipline that begins often without feeling joy or gladness at all. It is an act of faith. Not feeling. A sacrifice of praise.

We praise and we thank by faith. Believing He is good. Believing that His intentions toward us are always good. Believing He is able to redeem, restore, make new and "will and work for His good pleasure". Sorrowful and yet rejoicing. And as we rejoice, God gives us more and more of Himself. A fresh vision of His incomprehensible glory and it gives us a heavenly perspective. Like Paul had.

Korah chose to rebel. He sowed arrogance and reaped judgment. We have a choice too. We can squeeze our fists tight and shut the door to grace, or we can open up, raise our hands, bend the knee and trust that God is good and He is working. Always working for our good because….He is good.

What a wretched thing it is to call oneself a Christian and yet be a stranger and grumbling servant in the Father's house. And what a glorious thing it is to become aware everyday anew of the miracle that there is Someone who hears us. Someone who is waiting for us. Someone who wonderfully sets everything to rights and finds a way out for us when all we can do is to wear ourselves out with worry. Someone who one day, when our last hour comes and we go back home from the far country and the hectic adventure of life, will be waiting for us on the steps of the eternal home of the Father and will lead us to the place where we may speak with Jesus forever and ever and where we shall be surrounded by that joy which here we have only began to taste.            

                                                                                                                                    -Helmut Thielicke 

I have very exciting news!!! Liz Curtis Higgs will join us this coming Monday, July 22nd! I will also be doing a giveaway of the new, updated Bad Girls of the Bible book and DVD. So come back and Monday and enter to win!