Just grumble and complain
Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
– Proverbs 27:20
1 Corinthians 10:6-13
6 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did,
7 or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”
9 Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.
10 And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
In 1976 the American movie, Network, showed in movie theaters across the United States. Network received widespread critical acclaim. It was a commercial success and won four Academy Awards. In 2007, Network was chosen as the 64th among the 100 greatest American films by the American Film Institute.
The decade of the 1970s was a time of great frustration, depression, rising inflation, and the oil crisis.
Network sets forth for all to see, the anger and languidness felt by those who have no recourse, remedy, or strategy. It captures the rage and anger of the disappointment experienced in modern life. Peter Finch, playing Howard Beale, an anchorman for fictional TV network, rants “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” He appeals to his audience to open their windows stick their heads out and scream, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
The film resonated with its viewers and marked a turning point in American culture. Peter Finch set the tone. People were unshackled and began to “tell it like it is.”
Anger, frustration, blaming,and lashing out are nothing new. It’s gone on since the Garden of Eden. In the Old Testament, it was often expressed by resentment and murmuring. Old Testament stories chronicle this to encourage us to make better decisions.
1 Corinthians 10:6-11
6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
The Greek word translated crave or desire is epithumeo. Epithumeo means to have a strong desire, a longing, or lust. Generally speaking, it is a neutral term for strong longing or craving. However, most frequently it takes on a pejorative sense and refers to something which is an irregular and inordinate desire, appetite, lust, impure or worldly desires, lewdness. Epithumeo can be thought of it as strong negative desires on steroids
The Greek word translated grumble is gogguzo. Gogguzo means to grumble, complain, mutter, to express oneself in low tones of disapproval. It is an onomatopoetic word, based upon a sound associated with what is named. English words such as growl, murmur, cuckoo, sizzle, and whippoorwill are examples of such.
Anyone can be disappointed or discouraged by circumstances. Many go to the next level and become agitated and extremely angry. But for children of the King, there is a better way to respond.
We can learn the art and practice of taking every thought and emotion captive. We can control what we think and feel, rather than allowing ourselves to be controlled by our feelings and thoughts.
REFLECT & PRAY
Paul compares human reasoning and arguments to military fortresses, strongholds. People erect the spiritual forts to protect themselves and block an invasion from the knowledge of God.
Father so many times I’ve been deceived and misled. Help me to be wise and empower me to take every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The battle is for the mind and heart: thinking, feeling, wanting, craving, and choosing to be satisfied or not. The enemy of our souls and his minions are actively engaged in a campaign to influence and deceive the children of the King. They use deceit, lies, confusion, uncertainty, and strong negative emotions such as anger, fear, revenge, and hate to achieve their goal.
The ability of the enemy to influence and control outcomes is evidenced by New Testament examples.
One is recorded in the events of the night of the Last Supper in the Gospel of John. The enemy first influences Judas by placing the desire into his heart to betray the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever his motives, Judas had betrayal in his heart. The enemy encouraged his thoughts and plans. Many think that Judas was trying to provoke the Lord Jesus Christ into action and demonstrate His supernatural power as the Messiah, the Son of God, and overthrow Roman rule
John 13:2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, putting it in his heart to betray Jesus.
Then Satan went to the next level and entered into Judas. The Lord Jesus Christ knew exactly what was going on.
John 13:27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
The rest is history. Judas was one of the twelve apostles. Yet he was the son of perdition (John 17:12). No one suspected what was coming, except the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
Could this happen to a child of the King? Consider this. While Judas was no child of the King but he undoubtedly opened his heart and gave the enemy an opportunity. Paul warns all children of the King against doing this very thing (Ephesians 4:27).
A second example is found in the book of Acts.
Acts 5:3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.”
Ananias let down his guard and allowed Satan to fill his heart, that is, influence his decisions. He chose poorly and suffered the consequences.
Could this happen to a child of the King? It did. Ananias was a child of the King. Yet, he allowed Satan to take control and fill his heart.
How can we effectively deal with Satan’s attempt to influence and control us?
We learn the art and skill of taking every thought captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. By ourselves alone, we are not capable of doing this. But the Father has made it possible through spiritual weapons that he has provided us to fight this spiritual battle for the mind.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.
4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.
The bottom line is that the Father has given us the ability to control what we think and feel. The choice is ours.
What is the opposite of complaining and murmuring? Thankfulness!