The Bible comes alive when we insert ourselves into the various narratives and stories, when we contemplate how we might have acted if we were there. It’s fascinating to me and disappointing how often God’s children resisted Him and resorted to complaining about, well, everything. Would you have done that? It’s easy to know; if you act that way now, you would have then! This is most often how the people related to God. Be honest; is this you?
“We don’t like Your leaders; put us in charge.”
“We don’t like your instructions; we’ll do it our own way.”
“We don’t like where You’re sending us; we’ll stay right here.”
“We don’t like your directions; we’ll choose our own path.”
“We don’t like Your consequences; we’ll skirt the punishment.”
“We don’t like your assignments; we’ll do what we please.”
“We don’t like this work; we’ll choose what we like.”
“We don’t like Your warnings; we’ll hear what we want.”
“We don’t like what you call us; we’ll pick our own identity.”
And even in the midst of God’s lovingkindness, His tender mercies, and His long-suffering, His chosen usually act like negative nellies: pessimistic about everything, constantly complaining, glass half-empty-type people, who when given a choice, opt for the negative outlook on life. Can you imagine? God gives you yet another chance to be content, to avoid the most serious of consequences for your bad decisions. He lays out His plan and to what you must stipulate. And then, your negative glass-half-empty-attitude takes over again. You assume you are just going to blow it anyway, so why bother? “Surely we die, we perish, we all perish!” It’s utterly depressing. How miserable, how wretchedly unhappy you must be to always assume the worst outcome, to believe you just can’t obey God, won’t obey God. You exist in a forgone conclusion; we are going to fail, so why even try? We’re going down, so we might as well have a good time doing what pleases ourselves along the way.
In contrast to a negative outlook and a never-ending dissatisfaction with what we’ve been given, we have this wisdom: godliness with contentment is great gain. Think about it; discontentment leads to envy and strife, and contentment opens the doors to an abundant life of blessings and favor. No one likes to be around constant pessimism and complaining: not Moses, not God, and not even you! And no one is striving for chastening and poverty, but that is what you’ll get if you don’t stop whining. So, snap out of it, “Surely we will live, we will thrive, we will all thrive!”
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