Series: It's All Good
Message: The Art of Contentment
Preacher: Dena King
Daily Walk: Dena King
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 116:1-11.
Read: John 3: 14-15 and Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV). Re-read in the English Standard Version for new insights or questions.
Reflect: The issue of murmuring and complaining is not something new to our generation even though it seems to get worse all the time. When Paul speaks in Philippians about murmuring and complaining he uses the Greek word “goggusmoi”, an imitative word suggesting the rumblings that the grumbler produces (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary). This word is also used in the Old Testament to describe Israel’s complaints in the wilderness.
Jeff Krall, in an online blog, notes the many times the Children of Israel murmured and complained along their journey from Egypt and how God dealt with them. They complained about everything from their food and water to Moses’ leadership and against God. The end to this comes when they complain against God and Moses and the fiery serpents bite them. Krall says, “This is perhaps the most important of all the lessons during their wilderness journeys. God finally gives them a taste of their own hateful medicine. They were to experience the same painful poison they were dishing out. As a recipient of their own venom, they finally cried out to the Lord; acknowledging they sinned against God and Moses.”
God gives Moses the cure for the snake’s bite. A bronze serpent must be lifted up on a pole and those who look on the serpent will be healed. God is asking them to look at their problem and acknowledge how bad it is. In this way we too must look at our words and thoughts and acknowledge when we are spreading rumor, gossip, and discontent. The first step to recovery is recognizing we have a problem, right? Krall says, “We must look at our own spiritual MRI and see the seriousness of our disease.”
And what is our cure? Jesus says in John 3:14-15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (ESV).
Recalibrate: Why does God take murmuring and complaining so seriously?
Respond: Confess the times you have murmured and complained against God and others. Ask for forgiveness.
Research: Read “How Israel Complaining 14 Times Mirrors Your Christian Journey” by Jeff Krall