The Bread and the “Whine”

I am pretty sure that most of us know the Bible story about God providing manna for the children of Israel in the wilderness (Ex.16:11-21). What exactly is manna? Even the Israelites didn’t really know what it was! The very word “manna” comes from the Hebrew “man hu,” which literally means “what is it?” God explained that the manna was their daily provision of food. It was truly miraculous!

You would think that their hearts would be full of gratitude. But they were just a bunch of complainers. They complained about everything…especially when it came to food and water. When they did get water, it was too bitter, and when God provided food, they quickly grew tired of it. Their thoughts turned back to Egypt, wanting to return to the bondages of slavery rather than press on to the Promise Land and trust God for their provision. Seems pretty ungrateful! (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of provision)

Sound familiar? We have all done this from time to time. You know, like when we’ve been praying for something and God answers in a way that doesn’t match up to the way we thought He should answer. Or when things don’t go our way, we complain and whine about it. But make no mistake…this not only grieves God, it displeases and angers Him.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Phil.2:14-16)

There is a clear directive from the Lord to not complain (or grumble, in other translations). In fact, God calls those who are ungrateful whiners part of a crooked (warped) and perverse (corrupt) generation. Ouch! It’s easy to complain when things don’t go our way. It’s easy to justify our disappointment and ungratefulness toward God. But again, this grieves God.

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. (Jude 1:14-16)

Ungodly deeds…ungodly ways…ungodly sinners…these are the grumblers and complainers! Oh church, can we see God’s heart in this? We should be ones who are the most grateful for anything and everything! He has done so much for us. Mercy, grace, love, peace, healing, provision…the list goes on and on, all freely given to us. That is why Jude continues with an encouragement to believers:

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:17-21)

We are to be building ourselves up in faith and keeping ourselves from the love of things in this world. Our focus is Christ and Christ alone. We deserve hell, He gives us heaven. Though sin’s penalty is death, He gives us life. He turns mourning into dancing and gives us laughter through our tears. He forgives, forgets and loves us through our iniquities. Why aren’t we the most grateful people on the planet?!

We should have a peace and confidence that God will supply all of our needs. If we could just stop grumbling and whining long enough to focus on what God has done and what He is doing now, we can get a glimpse of what He will do for us tomorrow. I don’t want to whine…I just need the Bread.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (Jn.6:48-51)

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