Devotion – Exodus 16

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely nuts, it is a whining, complaining kid.
When I hear a kid whine, it is like fingernails on a chalk board to me.  The reason it bothers me so much is that when a kid complains, it indicates that he doesn’t realize how blessed he or she is.  Mom and dad take care of the kid, provide for their needs and fill most of their wants.  They are there for them all the time, and give of themselves sacrificially to love the child.  But when a kid doesn’t get exactly what he wants, wha, wha, wha!!!

My kids will tell you that I put a stop to that at an early age.  If they began to give me that whining tone of voice and start complaining about something they didn’t get, or had to do, well, I would bust them pretty hard.  It is the only time I would make fun of my kids, because I hated it so bad.  My daughter would give me that sorry tone of voice, and I would mimic her, which would make her mad.  My kids will never get anything from me when they whine.

Yet, we all do it with God!  We all complain at times, and whine.  As humans, we have such a tendency to forget all the awesome things that God has done for us, and we complain to God about the things we don’t have.  Instead of being thankful for the wonderful blessing of salvation, we complain that our house is not as big and wonderful as the one down the street.  Instead of being overwhelmed with the goodness of God’s forgiveness, we whine about the fact that God did not give us the gifts, talents, or financial blessings  like He did some other person.  Instead of being overjoyed with the fact that God put us in a wonderful church with great Christian people, we fuss that the sermons are too long, the music is too loud, or other people are hypocrites.  Yep, we are great at complaining and whining.  And our complaints demonstrate that we have forgotten how wonderful God has been.

The Hebrew people have seen some incredible things in the past few days.  They watched as God brought the plagues, led them to be released, and saved them at the Red Sea.  They have worshiped as a congregation through the songs of Moses and Miriam.  And they have just come a place where God performed a miracle to provide them water to drink.  You would think that they would have an incredible faith in God.  Somehow, just the opposite is true.  These people start whining and complaining at the first sign of trouble.  All of a sudden, they realize they are out in this wilderness with nothing to eat.  Their response, “God did all of this just to watch us starve!”  Can’t you hear the tone of voice in their words, sounding just like a little two year old about to throw a tantrum?!  Every time I read this passage I am shocked at the lack of faith the Hebrew people show, and how quick they were to whine.  But then, God gently reminds me that I am just like them.

How did God deal with their whining?  With grace, patience, and discipline.  Grace to provide a miraculous source of food, in spite of their whining.  Patience, in that He choose to help them in spite of their attitude.  And discipline, because each time they whine, God deals with them about their lack of faith.  So, what are your complaints with God.  Maybe you need to remember how good He really is to you!


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