GOD COMPARES A COMPLAINING SPIRIT TO A DRIPPING FAUCET
IT’S NOT A RESPECTABLE SIN TO GRUMBLE.
IT KEPT THE ISRAELITES OUT OF THE PROMISED LAND.
IT IS EVIDENCE OF NOT TRUSTING GOD,
WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT KEEPS PEOPLE FROM THE PROMISED LAND.
SOLOMON CALLS A COMPLAINING SPIRIT “A BROKEN SPIRIT”
BENEATH A “BROKEN SPIRIT” IS A LACK OF TRUST IN GOD
BENEATH A JOYFUL SPIRIT IS A CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Remember when Anne of Green Gables complains that God gave her red hair?
And she asks Marilla, “Marilla — don’t you ever DESPAIR OF LIFE?”
Marilla says: “No, I don’t. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
TO DESPAIR IS TO TURN YOUR BACK ON GOD
My husband was confident God was good, and that led to his joyful spirit, even in the face of great pain. Everyone talked of his laugh and his encouraging ways. Here is my daughter-in-law, Julie, sharing about Steve at his funeral:
Julie, as you can tell, is a gentle soul. Our son John, her husband, is a leader with a strong will. Like his mother, he is often very confident that he is right.
At their wedding, the pastor began to give a word of warning to John. He began, “John, I know you are strong-willed…” But before he could say anymore, Steve, seated in the front row, BROKE OUT into laughter, that contagious laugh, and soon the whole congregation, John’s bride, and the pastor was laughing.
Then the pastor said, “I guess my point has been made.” John turned to his dad, shaking his head, a bit embarrassed, but laughing as well.
This next picture was taken when Steve was dying from cancer, but still having fun with his three girls and daughter-in-law, who had just done crazy things with their hair. He told them they looked like they should be in a rock band. (Annie is hidden, behind him, her dark hair thrown over his head.) He died four months after this picture was taken.
At his funeral, Annie said, “I would call him when he was going through chemo to see how he was doing, and he’d say, ‘Oh Annie — I’m doing GREAT! Aside from the diarrhea and the vomiting, I’m doing GREAT!”
How do we possibly stop complaining?
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Have you experienced the truth of Proverbs 17:22 concerning a merry spirit versus a broken one? Share something about it.
3. What do you think is the difference between a lament to God and complaining? (This is challenging, I know, but important!)
Monday/Wednesday Bible Study
4. Read Psalm 78:1-6 and explain the purpose of this psalm.
5. If you are a mother or aunt or grandmother, what are some creative ways to obey the above?
6. According to Psalm 78:11-14, name a few of the miracles the Israelites forgot.
7. When the people grumbled and questioned God, why was God angry, according to Psalm 78:21-22?
8. Challenge question: How was the Exodus a foreshadowing of the crucifixion and our deliverance?
Optional: If you have never heard Keller’s classic sermon on The Exodus, and how to see Christ in the Old Testament, this is one of his best.
9. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
A. What was the sin beneath their sins of sexual immorality and grumbling according to verses 6-7?
B. Why did these things happen to them, according to verse 11?
C. What promise is given in verse 13?
D. Challenge question: What do you think is the way of escape when we are tempted to question or grumble?
10. Read Philippians 2:14-18
A. If we carry out verse 14, what will we become — what light will grow in us, according to verse 15?
B. What do you think “the word of life” is in verse 16? (Compare John 1:1-4) How might holding to this help you not to grumble or question?
C. Paul knew he was facing persecution and probable martyrdom. How do you see this in verse 17? How do you think, despite this realization, he was able to neither grumble nor question?
Thursday/Friday Sermon: Self-Control (LINK)
How do we develop self-control, whether it is keeping from grumbling, manipulating, or indulging?
11. Share your sermon notes — either from the free sermon or the sermon on self-control.
12. What is your take-a-way and why?