Hold Tight to Thanksgiving to Fight Off Grumbles
When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.
Then Israel made this vow to the Lord : “If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities.”
The Lord listened to Israel’s plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Whenever I get ready to look down on the Hebrews for complaining so quickly after a miraculous victory, I look at myself. It don’t have to travel many blocks away from church before I’m yelling at that fool on the Lloyd that didn’t know how to drive. (I know I had the right of way! Honk honk honk)
The fact is, if we are going to remember the awesome works of the Lord in the middle of the hard times, or even the normal times, we have to work at it. The default setting of the world and of most of our habits is to complain, so you have to be deliberate to keep the grumbling away and to hold on to thankfulness.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
As we encourage each other and celebrate the great things that God has done, we actually prevent our own sin and guard others from sin too! Imagine that your complaining could actually harden someone’s heart. Imagine that discouragement, criticism, sarcasm, bitterness could actually harden you kids to not be sensitive to God? That’s the converse of this statement.
Encourage one another every single day and keep that grumbling away. The Hebrews were rescued from certain destruction by the Canaanites in the Negev. That would have been a great thing to celebrate. As they forgot that celebration and that victory, they brought greater losses upon themselves.
This is the section that brought about the ‘fiery’ snakes that Matt talked about yesterday. Let us not leave our victories behind so quickly, and talk about them lot. If we move our conversation from victory to victory, the snakes and grumbles won’t stand a chance.