Why Complain?

42 They did not remember his power—the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood; they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, their produce to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility—a band of destroying angels.
50 He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague.
51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken.
55 He drove out nations before them and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance; he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes. Psalm 78:42-55

In this passage, Asaph detailed the account of the Israelites fleeing Egypt. Everything God did then was to display his power. Everything He did was to draw the Israelites to Himself. He led them the whole way.

But they rebelled. And bellyached. And complained. And tested His patience time after time after time.

I wish I could say that we were different, that we see God’s working in the world and are eternally grateful every chance we get. I wish I could say that every step of the way we followed Him because of the mighty works we see in our lives.

Yes, I wish.

But my reality is that we are a more sophisticated version of those fleeing Egypt. We’re wealthier, have need of nothing, and live a relatively easy life. We don’t have disease, starvation, or any of the other thousands of maladies that “plague” less developed nations. Oh there are exceptions to be sure but they are just that – exceptions.

Sometimes I don’t think we fully realize how blessed we are in the West.

So, the question I ask myself is a simple one (but it could lead to others): why do I complain?

  • Dissatisfaction?
  • Misery?
  • Pain?
  • Unhappiness?
  • Angst?

But why?

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