And do not grumble, as some of them did -- and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
We do not take the admonition to not grumble seriously enough. I am reminded of a song I heard as a child. The chorus starts "Oh, they grumble on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, grumble on Thursday, too!" The verses contain a humorous litany of complaints. But grumbling is not a laughing matter to God.
We see how serious grumbling is by God's response to the Israelites' complaints. The Israelites were made to wander through the desert for forty years because they did not trust God enough to go into the Promised Land when they were first given the opportunity. Yet, God still provided for them. He supplied them with manna for food, their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell. But instead of being thankful for their blessings, they grumbled against Him. He quickly quelled their rebellion by sending the destroying angel to kill many of them.
It is so easy for me to shake my head in disgust at their response to God's provision. But I must confess, I often grumble about my circumstances, too. If I am not careful, the grumble song could become a reality for me. I might easily miss God's blessings if I concentrate on my problems. Instead of following the bad example of the Israelites, I need to follow Paul's teaching in I Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Lord, Help me to not to grumble, but to be thankful for everything.