Summary: More than once, Israel in her pride tempted God in the wilderness and He had to punish them (Deut. 6:16). But like a stubborn child, the Jews didn’t seem to learn their lesson. Instead of pleasing the Lord who had done so much for them, they provoked Him
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
The Jews had a long record of complaining against the Lord and their leaders. Their murmuring began on the night of the Exodus when they were sure Pharaoh’s Army was going to kill them (Ex. 14:10-14). As Israel entered the wilderness of Shur, they complained because they didn’t have water to drink (15:22-27), and then they murmured because they missed the special meals they had back in Egypt (Ex. 16). At Rephidim, the people were ready to stone Moses because they had no water (17:1-7), and at Taberah some of the people complained and were killed by fire (Num. 11:1-3). Because of all of this Moses became so discouraged he wanted to die (v. 4).
When the child of God is in the will of God, there is no place for complaining, even if the circumstances are difficult. The will of God will never lead us to where the grace of God can’t provide for us. However, if we aren’t willing to obey God He is not obligated to reveal His will to us. A complaining spirit is evidence of an ungrateful heart and an unsurrendered will. By our grumbling we are saying that we know more than God does about what is best for us. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Phil. 2:14).
More than once, Israel in her pride tempted God in the wilderness and He had to punish them (Deut. 6:16). But like a stubborn child, the Jews didn’t seem to learn their lesson. Instead of pleasing the Lord who had done so much for them, they provoked Him to anger and sort of dared Him to act. When God was about to pronounce judgement Moses reasoned with God not to destroy them. (1) He argued first of all that His glory would be tarnished if Israel were destroyed. (2) His second argument was the covenant God had made with the patriarchs years before that He would give them the land (v. 17). (3) His third argument pointed to the character of God and quoted what God Himself had declared to him on Mount Sinai (vv. 17,18). (4) His final argument was the fact that the Lord had forgiven His people many times before (v. 19).
When I walk by sight and not by faith I don’t have sense enough to know who my real friends are and will turn against those who have the potential of helping me the most.