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A good grumble?

Grumbling gets strong critique in the pages of Scripture. As the people of God make their way through the wilderness to the Promised Land, grumbling is the failing into which they most regularly fall.

Ways of Wisdom Steve Midgley
Figure Image
photo: iStock

Chapters 11-14 of Numbers charts the terrible progress of the people’s moaning and wailing as it builds toward a disastrous climax. In Chapter 11 the people complain about hardships in general (Num. 11:1) before making dietary concerns the specific focus for their complaint (Num. 11:4-6). In the next chapter Miriam and Aaron grumble about being overlooked as leaders, declaring it profoundly unfair that Moses gets such special treatment (Num. 12:1-2). Finally in Chapter 14, after the report of the ‘spies’, ‘all the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron’ (Num. 14:2), wishing they had died in Egypt or in the wilderness, rather than continue in what they are persuaded is an entirely hopeless redemption plan.