To Trust or Complain

Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat?  We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” — Numbers 11:4-6 


These three verses recount one of the many instances in which the children of Israel  during their exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land  found themselves complaining about the trying nature of their circumstances.  Despite the numerous and amazing miracles that they saw The Lord perform on their behalf when He liberated them from bondage, they seemed quick to complain, rather than trusting God, when the challenges of their journey became overwhelming. 


Hate to say it, but the tendency to become unappreciative, and even critical of that which The Lord has provided, is not exclusive to Old Testament Israel.  It’s a habit that is common today.  For exampleconflict and adversity can cause us (husbands and wives) to become a bit short-sighted.  Just as the children of Israel forgot how desperately they wanted freedom from slavery, once their food and water options became limited, we can also forget how excited we were to get married, once the joy of romance gives way to friction in our marital interactions. 


Read further in Numbers 11 or, for that matter, read all of Exodus though Numbersyou’ll find that rather than shielding His people from hardships, The Lord sought to refine their ability to trust Him by deliberately bringing them face to face with those between-the-enemy-and-the-Red-Sea predicaments.  He develops our spiritual maturity in the same way; by leading us through the very difficulties that test, reveal, and strengthen our faith. 


This week’s challenge: Do you see your spouse as God’s divine provision for you?  Today, is your spouse someone you desire or despise?  If you have legitimate concerns about a lack of harmony in your marriage, instead of letting those concerns turn into complaints (or longings for the life you left) we encourage you to trust The Lord!  Consider looking to Him for wisdom and direction, with Philippians 4:6-7 in mind: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 



“Magnify The Lord!”

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

–          Psalm 34:1-3

We may easily identify with these words of the psalmist during a spirited Sunday worship service, but could “all times” and “continually” include those times when our married lives are not quite blissful?  Sometimes you and your spouse may have conflicting expectations.  Sometimes issues with family members, co-workers, and even fellow-believers, can seem incompatible with the idea of having praise on our lips.  Yet notice: The Lord is the object and focus of praise!  He is The One about whom we can boast and experience gladness because we have the assurance of His timeless, unfailing love and His ever-present grace.

An assignment for husbands: if you and your wife are not already sharing time in God’s Word, daily, we encourage you to read Psalm 34 with her (in its entirety) today.  Then take a moment to appreciate the fact that you can exalt His name together!