It is often just little things, like a relatively insignificant delay, an unexpected line, a barking dog, or a nagging headache, that starts us down the road to complaining. At other times, it is simply hunger or the lack of sleep that causes us to grumble. Why is it that some people can take those inconveniences and deal with them easily while other people get so irritated and upset? All too often we are tempted to look for someone to blame when our routines are interrupted or our comfort is diminished.
As the Israelites left the Red Sea after their amazing escape, they were full of enthusiastic joy and songs of praise. They had experienced “the great power that Jehovah had displayed against the Egyptians and they feared the LORD and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant” – Exodus 14: 31. You would think that this joy and confidence would have lasted for a long time, but it only took 3 days before they needed another reminder that ELOHIM could see their problem and would provide for them at exactly the right time. It was their need for water that made them begin to mumble and murmur. They were thirsty and it became Moses’ fault. Moses, however, knew exactly what to do. He turned to JEHOVAH! As they enjoyed the refreshment of sweet water, it became one of those “teachable moments”. God Himself explained to them that His laws and His commands were given for very good reasons and if they would be willing to listen to Him and to do what was right in His eyes, rather than their own, they would be assured of a healthy and happy future. He also told them that His name, and therefore His character, was – “YAHWEH- RAPHA, the LORD who heals you”. How long would they remember this new name?
One of the problems with mumbling and grumbling, murmuring and complaining, is that in the end it represents our dissatisfaction with God. It seems innocent at the time and most of us indulge in its surface satisfaction under the right circumstances, but it doesn’t really solve any problem. It only nurtures the seeds of discontent so that they can begin to take root and grow. Perhaps letting Yahweh-Rapha remind us of His ways and provisions might just be a better solution for you and me, too.