Numbers 14:1-4--Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.
Oh the journey! What is the first question a child asks with increasing frequency on a long trip? “Daddy, how much longer until we’re there?” The first couple of times dad responds with dignity and grace. Then mom senses the repeating question becomes an irritant so she provides the answer. It wouldn’t be so bad except the questions change in step with the child’s demeanor. The inquisitive voice needing reassurance turns rhetorical and each succeeding statement has more bite. Note the progression!
How long ‘til we get there? (Man this trip is taking forever!)
I’m bored! Why can’t we get out now? (Your leadership is in question.)
It’s hot back here, my legs need more room.
Why did we have to bring so much stuff? (You are insensitive to my needs.)
She’s kicking me! (This adversity is your fault!)
I wish we’d stayed home. I want to go home! (You are to blame, I should be in charge.)
“Oh the journey! Will I go bananas before this road trip ends or will I buy straight jackets for my kids!”
“Oh this journey!” we say of life. Complaining starts out innocently. It is the honest inquiry from eyes that cannot see tomorrow and merely need reassurance. But when the environment is not to our liking, the odyssey becomes unpleasant. We begin to question God’s leadership. “Are You sure You know what You are doing?”
Oh the journey! The road of life has potholes! Why must we endure unexpected flats, blown transmissions, broken hoses and construction delays? Suffering was not part of our plan. With our changing perspective we cease looking up to God. He is suddenly insensitive to our needs. Our adversity is His fault. “If only” becomes our imbroglio, our twisted theme song. If we are not careful, the day will come when our incessant complaints transcend into a murmuring of mutiny—we want to go back to Egypt.
“Oh the journey!” God says. “How long will My patience last with these children of Mine who question Me every step of the way.” If you thought two kids in a Honda across Texas was tough, imagine carting the human race!
We cannot look up if we are murmuring.—Oswald Chambers in The Pilgrim’s Song Book
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)