Everyone is either primarily an encourager or discourager in their attitude and actions. I want to begin to see what makes us discouragers.
Let’s address how we are a discourager– The most damaging attitude for disciples is being self-centered. Instead, we must be Jesus-centered and be obedient by faith in God and in His grace “Love God and others”. This was the problem with the Israelites. They would trust God for a little while after a supernatural miracle but then they would revert to murmuring or grumbling at the first sign of adversity or something they did not like. What can disciples learn from their story today?
First let’s define “murmuring, grumbling or complaining” that discourages people. The Israelites were complaining against Moses, Aaron, and God. This demonstrated a lack of faith in God and His appointed representatives. For 40 years God maintained His presence as He guided them by a pillar of cloud or fire and He gave them food and water. Moses said, “I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.” A
For 15 times of Israelite “grumbling” click here. After the 5th time of grumbling B, God started exacting punishment for showing a lack of faith and trust in Him and His appointed representatives. Only the 9th and 13th time did not result in punishment. Two examples: #10 The 10 spies who had no faith in God delivering the Promised Land were killed instantly. All but Joshua and Caleb of the men over 19 delivered from Egypt were sentenced to die in the wilderness. They did not find rest and peace in the Promised Land. This was over 600,000 men. C #14 Moses disobeyed God and he and Aaron were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Even Moses and Aaron were not exempt.
In the NT we are told; “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.” D This should be ample evidence that disciples are not to grumble against God and His appointed representatives. His representatives are responsible to God or an appointed representative over them and God, and not to us as individuals.
Let’s look at the Israelites as they have been delivered from Egypt and God told them Israel could be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” We know they failed. For more discussion on this and decline in true church in USA click here.
We are imperiling ourselves and others by our critical and grumbling nature.
Notes: A- Deuteronomy 29:5; B- For 15 examples of grumbling click here ; C- Numbers 1:45–46 ; D- 1 Corinthians 10:11;
Henry Luke 10/12/2017
To return to “Am I a Discourager?” click here