The people soon began to complain to the LORD about their hardships; and when the LORD heard them, his anger blazed against them. Fire from the LORD raged among them and destroyed the outskirts of the camp. - Numbers 11:1
Moses was the pastor of the “First Church of the Wilderness.” This popular church had thousands of members, but many of them were chronic complainers who displeased the Lord. The mixed multitudes, or the rabble who were with them, started it all. “Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt, and the people of Israel also began to complain” (Numbers 11:4).
What did the members of Moses’ church have to complain about? They complained about the manna they were eating. Soon they began to pine for the good old days! They didn’t like anything about the church—the location or the preacher—and they said so.
Every church has to contend with the rabble-rousers. The problem is, their grumbling grows, and before you know it, the members have begun to grumble, too!
It’s hard for a pastor to cope with that sort of talk. When church people begin to talk about the previous pastor, or to pine for the food they were fed at their last church, there is little he can do about it. Complaining, grumbler’s gripe, is caught like measles. Once started, it spreads like wildfire. It can become very discouraging.
Moses fell into the trap that many pastors fall into. He caught the disease and began griping too. The Lord is displeased with such behavior; he gripes about gripers, and that should be enough to stop it!
For Further Study: Numbers 11:1-9
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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