Grumbling in Their Tents

First published September 21, 2015

In Hebrew history there seems to be a recurring theme. As described in the Exodus story and the time in the wilderness carried forward into the Psalms, the people grumbled in their tents.

Americans are great grumblers. Check your Facebook feed. People are always complaining–unless you muted the grumblers. In that way they think they are still your friends, but you have ceased listening to them.

John Ortberg recently talked about quitting complaining. He identified two words used in the Old Testament–grumbling and groaning.

When the Israelites grumbled, the grumbled “in their tents.” They grumbled about God. I’m not getting mine. I’m not satisfied. I want more.

If that sounds familiar, well 3,000 years hasn’t meant much to the spiritual progress of humans.

I stand convicted as I think about the grumbling. I’m not immune. When I catch myself, I’m sorry for the thoughts or words.

Organizations typically are filled with grumbling. The greater the vision that leaders get members to buy into, the lesser the grumbling. When you’re working on a mission, time for grumbling diminishes.

On the other hand, when you are discouraged and wonder if God is with you, you go into a private place and groan to God.

I may be groaning now as I think of this.

Grumbler or Groaner. Which are we? Which do we want to be?

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