Saturday, April 19, 2008

Worshipping or Murmuring

We have been diligently going through the beginning of the Old Testament in our Bible Study on Sunday mornings. We began in Genesis. Which is a good place to start, I suppose.

Last Sunday found us in the 15th chapter of Exodus. The week before the Children of Israel were miraculously delivered from the advancing army of Pharaoh. God parted the waters and Moses and the people walked across on dry land. Not wet, sticky, messy, get stuck between your toes mud. But dry land. What an amazing deliverance.

It is in this passage that God places a test before the people. This is not the post to debate whether or not God tested His people back then, or tests us today. All I know is that the Bible says that God said to them “if you will listen... do... and obey...”, then God would do something.

Whenever God tells us what to do we always have a choice. And that choice really demonstrates a lot about us and about our character. If we obey then we see God's hand upon us and our faith in Him grows. The next command will be easier to obey because of our obedience to the last command.

But many times we do not obey. At least not right away or not cheerfully. This is certainly true of the children of Israel. God had delivered them from bondage, slavery, Egypt, Pharaoh and his armies. And the bulk of the 15th chapter of Exodus is all about the spontaneous worship that erupted from the mouths of the people. They celebrated the horse and the rider being thrown into the sea. They sang praises to God as Miriam leads the ladies choir in echoing the praises of the people.

They leave the worship service and go three short days into the wilderness of Shur. And there they found no water. Their physical natures were being tested a little due to their thirst. They began to murmur and grumble about the lack of water. And that brought about a question about their spiritual nature.

Were they going to be a worshipping people who occasionally murmured? Or were they going to be a murmuring people who occasionally worshipped?

That question is relevant to me today. And it is relevant to you.

What is my spiritual nature?

Am I a person who truly “listens, does, and obeys” but someone who occasionally doubts and murmurs when God does not respond immediately and as I think He should? Or am I a person who consistently doubts, grumbles and murmurs about my lot in life and who only occasionally stops and worships the God of all creation?

5 comments:

  1. Scott6:24 AM

    But Kevin, it is always easier to discuss the spiritual character of other people, you know that....yes, sarcasm on a Monday morning, hah.

    This is something that has been making trips in my thoughts the last couple of weeks. What kind of witness does someone who is more complaint than worship make?

    Piggybacking on the thought of how complaining can grow in a large group, so can worship...especially heartfelt open worship. How many times have I stepped to the complaining side when I should have been the one to stand and worship? Where would a heart, bent on holiness go?

    may He bless us.....may we recognize and be thankful for the many blessings He has already given us on this day.

    Scott

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  2. Scott6:24 AM

    But Kevin, it is always easier to discuss the spiritual character of other people, you know that....yes, sarcasm on a Monday morning, hah.

    This is something that has been making trips in my thoughts the last couple of weeks. What kind of witness does someone who is more complaint than worship make?

    Piggybacking on the thought of how complaining can grow in a large group, so can worship...especially heartfelt open worship. How many times have I stepped to the complaining side when I should have been the one to stand and worship? Where would a heart, bent on holiness go?

    may He bless us.....may we recognize and be thankful for the many blessings He has already given us on this day.

    Scott

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  3. Scott,

    You are correct about the contagious nature of worship. When the Holy Spirit visits a worship service it is very hard to sit on our hands.

    But the key is that it is from the Holy Spirit. I don't need to be scolded by someone from the congregation about my worship. Nor do I need to be cajoled by the worship leader.

    But I don't want to complain...

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  4. Scott8:03 PM

    Kevin,

    There are times I am scared how close I think like you, lol.

    By the way, sorry about the double post, I had some error show up and then it posted my comments twice. I guess the software was having a Monday as well.

    blessings and have a great week

    Scott

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  5. Scott,

    Don't worry about the double post. It helps boost my stats and thus my ego!!!

    And you need to be careful when you start thinking like me. You might want to consider moving back tot he other side of the room next week!

    ReplyDelete