And the people spoke against God and against Moses: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread."
~ Numbers 21:5 (NKJV)
Aye yi yi can you believe those Israelites? How on earth could they "loathe" (detest, be disgusted with, be weary of) the manna called "grain of heaven … bread of angels"? How many times would their congregation turn a blind eye to God's goodness and grace and give in to complaining without hearing His not-so-subtle "You're provoking Me"?
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV)
Quick question: What bugs you most about your church congregation? Or, if you don't have one, then ask what single most aggravating factor about your last congregation, or the church at large, has provoked you to the point that you don't belong to a church?
Consider that the congregation of Israelites missed out on a tremendous number of blessings because of their complaining. We will likewise become blind to blessings if we allow those in our own congregation to provoke us to the point of unfruitful complaining.
If we find a situation truly grievous, then perhaps God is "provoking" us to get involved in His constructive approach to its resolution, lest we become as much of a provoker as a provokee—unless, King James style, we provoke others "unto love."
Lord, You are only good. Please forgive our complaining. I ask for every person who reads these words, as we seek Your face, that You'd open our eyes today to at least one blessing we've been missing and cause us to thank You for it.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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