|God Loves You|
"Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp." Numbers 11:1.
Today, in the age of grace and the modern church a person might think they have a special covenant and get an exception on some things. The people of Israel were God's chosen people, they were special but God gave them no slack on the issue of sin.
Complaining expresses selfishness, arrogance, superiority and immaturity. Complaining is the opposite of gratitude. It insults God who is so generous, grants favor and gives life.
One wonders what they had to complain about.
* God had delivered them from slavery and they escaped Egypt.
* They carried away the treasure of Egypt with them.
* God was living among them as with no other people.
* He provided them with the food of angels.
* And God was leading them to a land of promise.
Yet with the miracles and the blessings they still complained.
IN THE HEARING OF THE LORD
It is not just that God is all-knowing- He hears the unspoken words as well as the shout, but it was compounded because the ones complaining were supposed to be His people and a light to the nations.
The issue was not proximity, though they were close to the Lord, and the tabernacle which represented the presence of the Lord, the issue was status- they were his people so the attitude of complaining was intolerable.
HIS ANGER AROSE.
No one would want to be on the receiving end of God's wrath. To say His anger arose suggest it grew and manifested itself in the extreme.
Complaining cost them and fire consumed edges of the camp. The people did other sins at other times but the judgment against complaining was the most dramatic which should cause us to think God is really against it.
That God only burned the perimeter shows his anger was mixed with mercy as if God were not happy to carry out judgment.
We may find forgiveness through Jesus for our sins but we still cannot continue in sin without consequences.
The people of the church today do not get any extra leniency for sin than did people of ancient Israel. We must not tempt the Lord's anger. We must be vigilant to guard against it.
If you want to learn more about finding God and freedom from sin see my other blog about salvation.