Moses and the whiners

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

At the rate I am keeping up with the commentary on Exodus by Philip Graham Ryken, it will be a lifetime before I complete all 102 chapters. I am only at chapter 36 today, and I only barely read the first few pages before my mind got stuck and became busy with this one thing.

But I do think this is good, because devotional reading and studying of God's word takes time and much thinking and mulling, and application.

The chapter is entitled "A Bitter Complaint" on Exo 15:22-27. The portion that made me stop and think was this:

Whining always sounds childish. Consider the bumper sticker on which the word “Whining” is superimposed with a red circle slashed by a diagonal line — “No Whining!” It is not hard to guess who is inside the car (usually a minivan). Children are notorious for whining. To be guilty of this sin, as the Israelites were, is a sign of spiritual immaturity. One day the people were dancing on the beach, singing praises to God; but only a few days later they were on the verge of open rebellion. This is a clear sign that they were still in their spiritual infancy."

I began to think about Moses. I wondered how he must have felt having to face a horde of whining people for 40 years! How could he stand it? I wouldn't be able to. I cannot stand whiny people.

But that is what he did. He did show his impatience once in awhile as we read in the exodus account, but all in all, I must say he is very, very patient indeed and he always come back to God in his frustrations.

I had my fourth coaching session with a CG friend this evening, and in our conversation, with no reference to my mulling about Moses, she talked about him.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

She brought up a very interesting point. Moses brought the people through the wilderness for 40 years, but in the end he did not go with them into the promised land. My friend commented that sometimes in our dealing with people, we complete our duty and let them move forward to their new land without us.

Is that so? Can I then let the people I deal with move on and I let them go ahead without following them. If that is the case, I can move on to help and manage other people.

However, the only reason Moses could not go into the promised land was because he sinned against God in his disobedience and lack of faith. How does this then square with what my friend say?

I think I can conclude with these observations:

1. God has chosen us to minister to some people he placed in our lives, and some of these people will be whiners.

2. We are to obey God and following his leading and bring the people into God's truth, especially the whiners, so they can mature in Christ.

3. I do not think we can apply it literally to our lives where Moses was left behind and not go into the promised land. However, when some people move on to continue to grow in God, we trust that God will arrange for new guides for them in their next phase of growth and sanctification. It is not our call, but God's.

pearlie

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