Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! “Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”
— Numbers 14:1-3
Complaining exposes a pitiful condition. Those who have the Lord’s commitment, who love Him, serve Him, and fight for Him, have no time for complaining. They are occupied with God’s interest. The children of Israel were not such people at this point. Instead, out of fear, they complained that their wives and children would become victims (v. 3). Although they prophesied this, God never allowed it to happen.
They also said it would be better to return to Egypt. If they were not going to follow the Lord, it made sense to go back. This, however, God would never allow. Have you ever disagreed so strongly with the direction the Lord was leading you that you wanted to go back to the world? You may have even tried to join your old friends again, but you had no taste anymore for the things they were doing. We can complain, but we cannot go back.
Adapted from Joshua: A Life of Service, page 32.
Tomorrow: “Rebellion against God”