Murmuring Against the Lord — Exodus 16

And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.” (Exodus 16:8)

Sometimes, we all complain about things without really considering Whom it is we are complaining against. We speak of our bad luck and misfortune in the same manner as those who do not know God. We grumble about traffic jams and foul weather as if such events were random and directionless. We deprecate those in office for the sad state of political affairs, forgetting that all power is either given or permitted by God (Rom. 13:1).

I admit that this is an area that I personally struggle with. I honestly do not feel very comfortable complaining against God, so it’s a lot easier to blame someone or something else. To curse the storm is one thing, to bring accusation against the One Who formed the clouds is quite another.

But just as the Hebrews were really murmuring against God when they railed against Moses and Aaron, any such grievance we bring against the creation ultimately falls upon the Creator. Does not God have power over the winds and rains, the storms and thunders, the traffic jams and stoplights? He, of course, does not exercise His prerogative to control the smallest details of all these things; we live in a fallen world where calamity befalls us all and one can scarcely blame God for the evil that comes. Yet we impugn the sovereignty of the Lord when we fail to recognize that nothing comes upon us that He does not either send or allow.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Every aspect of the life of the Christian is perfectly orchestrated by the Lord. Nothing is left to chance. And everything that comes our way does so for the express purpose of our ultimate good, even those snares which we so often walk into through our own disobedience and error. We are in His hands, through and through, and He permits no trial to test us that we cannot overcome by relying on Him (1 Cor. 10:13).

Moses was leading the Children of Israel according to the direction of the Lord; they were still following the Pillar every step of the way. Therefore, it was God’s leadership that the Hebrews were really criticizing, not Moses’. When we complain against, criticize, or challenge the God-led actions of the leaders the Lord sets over us, are we not doing the same thing? No human being is incapable of making mistakes in a leadership role, even if their position of authority is authentically ordained by the Lord. A well-intentioned and well-placed suggestion can certainly be appropriate and the humble servant of the Lord will doubtlessly appreciate the feedback. Yet when we grumble, when we complain, we continuously find fault with those whom the Lord has called to lead us, perhaps we would do well to consider if it is them or the Lord with Whom we disagree.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,


3 thoughts on “Murmuring Against the Lord — Exodus 16”

  1. Oh, this is really relevant for all of us, Loren. It makes me think of that Thessalonians verse, to rejoice always, to give thanks in all things . . .and to pray without ceasing. ( maybe instead of complain without thinking!) If I would just pray each time I wanted to complain or blame . . . God bless you and thank you for keeping it real and humbling here! 🙂


  2. Thank you, Loren
    “When we complain against, criticize, or challenge the God-led actions of the leaders the Lord sets over us, are we not doing the same thing?”
    MUCH food for thought!

    The Scriptures show us how to pray for authority and teaches us the principles of submission. It is easier to apply this when the authority is walking in His will or doing what we expect…

    We don’t often remember or acknowledge where authority comes from, but may we never be numbered among those who act in disobedience or ignorance. His words are very clear. We are without excuse!

    I like the way Deb connects our attitude to our behaviour. Pretty cool!


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