The Dangers of Murmuring and Complaining

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The Dangers of Murmuring and Complaining

Pastor E. Keith Hassell

Key Verse: James 4:1-12

Complaints arise from the fleshly nature of our heart. Complaining and strife robs us of God’s blessing and grace. Complaining comes from different sources:

I.                   Comparison & Self-Pity (Numbers 11:1-3)

A.               Most likely the people on the outskirts were complaining because they were exposed to greater dangers and distresses

B.                Issues of fairness when problems arise; self-pity; false sense of injustice, etc.

C.               Penalty:  Consumed by the fire of the Lord (probably lightning)

D.               Memorial:  “Taberah” [Burning]

II.                Unthankful Lust (Numbers 11:4-15; 31-35)

A.               Their lust caused them to be unthankful for what God had already given them and then to abuse it when God finally gave it to them

B.                Penalty: A plague was sent among them. In their intense craving for meat, they probably ate the meat without properly cleaning and cooking it, thus subjecting them to sickness and disease

C.               Memorial:  “Kibroth Hattaavah” [Graves of Craving]

III.             Judgment & Pride (Numbers 12:1-6)

A.               Miriam and Aaron complained about their brother Moses regarding his choice of a wife. Although it was done in private, God heard it!

B.                Penalty:  Miriam was struck with leprosy. Even after Moses prayed for her and she was healed, she was sentenced by God to seven days of humiliation for outside of the camp

C.               Place: “Hazeroth” [Yard that is fenced or walled in]

D.               James 4:11 He who judges his brother speaks evil of the law and makes himself a judge

E.                James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!”

IV.            Unbelief & Fear (Numbers 14)

A.               The people of Israel chose to believe the evil report rather than to move forward in faith

B.                Penalty:  Wander and die in the wilderness; Inability to possess the land

C.               Hebrews 3:19 The people could not enter because of unbelief

V.               Rebellion & Pride (Numbers 16)

A.               Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rose up to challenge Moses’ right to lead and Aaron’s right to the priesthood

B.                Penalty: The earth opened up and swallowed these rebels and their families. A fire from the Lord consumed 250 leaders who had joined in with them

VI.            Stubbornness and Hardness of Heart (Numbers 16:41-50)

A.               Even after seeing God’s judgment, the congregation were unrelenting and stubborn in their railings against Moses and Aaron

B.                Penalty:  The wrath of God released a plague throughout the congregation that killed 14,700 people

VII.         We will not get what we need from God by complaining but by His grace.

A.               James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!”

B.                Jude 14-16 “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.’ These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.”

C.               Therefore we must

1.          Submit to God

2.          Resist the devil and he will flee

3.          Draw near to God (Throne of grace, Hebrews 4:16)

4.          Cleanse your hands, you sinners (evil works)

5.          Purify your hearts you double-minded (focus on God)

6.          Lament and mourn and weep! (recognize and admit the grief you have cause God, others, and yourself)

7.          Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up (grace!)

8.          Do not speak evil of one another

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