Yesterday I began to talk about the high cost of complaining. It was noted that God had contempt for those with a complaining spirit because it revealed a heart of ingratitude. Today we will see that this very same complaining spirit is highly contagious.
The Mixed Multitude Began To Mutter
“the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting…” (Numbers 11:4a)
You might be asking what a “mixed multitude” is exactly. When I was a kid “mixed company” was a group that consisted of both girls and boys. But in this case, it is a large group of people consisting of both Egyptians and Israelites. Yes, there were some Egyptians who followed Israel out of Egypt. It was this group that went “lusting” or “had longings” for the old days. The idea here wass simply that the mixed multitude began to vocalize their desires for what they left behind in Egypt.
All This Led to the Children Of Israel Beginning To Mourn.
“…and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?” (Numbers 11:4b)
Here is the first link in the awful chain of low-level complaining. Let one person start complaining to others about what’s wrong and pretty soon others will link up with the first link of complainers. Complaining is always contagious. What makes all this worse is they were “crying complainers.” Yuck! They were whiners who really whined.
Mark Twain once said, “Don’t complain and talk about all your problems—80 percent of people don’t care; the other 20 percent will think you deserve them.”
It is not good when some of the chief complainers are believers! If believers are going to complain then the world is definitely not going to give God the praise and adoration He deserves. Most of our complaints are about the same issues found here… Egypt. We too want the things of Egypt and start complaining about it!
Even Moses Began To Moan.
Moses began to complain to God about the complications all this whining was doing to the congregation. What Pharoah and his armies couldn’t do to the man of God, this mummering multitude did in just a few short days.
“And Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. 11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their father? 13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.” (Numbers 11:10-13)
Notice the trickle down effect. Moses’ plate was full! Moses was now complaining about the people’s complaining.
“I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” (Numbers 11:14-15)
God never intended Moses to bear the full load of this people. However, though Moses complained to God, we never read once that he ever complained before the people or spread his malcontent.
Complainers not only accuse God of unjust treatment, but they demonstrate their lack of faith in God by their complaint. Faith and complaining are polar opposites. If you want to destroy your “faith walk” allow a complaining spirit to grow. They will mutually exclude each other. Moses’ had become so negative he doubted even God could handle these circumstances.
“And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. 22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? 23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” (Numbers 11:21)
Have you shortened God’s arms and hands by your complaints? Most of us do not have the history with God as Moses did. God basically said to him, “You are going to see My word come to pass in your life. Nothing has changed Moses. My hands will deliver you.”
We may think our own issue of complaining against the Lord does not affect anyone but ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you never open your big mouth to bring accusation against God, it will manifest itself. As we see with Moses, it begins to eat away at our faith walk. It is impossible to believe God and walk in faith with a contentious, cancerous complaining spirit eating its way through our belief system.
Do you want to be different from almost every other believer you meet? Crucify the complaining spirit that wants to raise its ugly head in your life. Your faith will grow and you will bless the Lord in so many ways.