6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” (Exodus 16:6-7, NRSV)
The words of Aaron and Moses surprise us. Are you in position of hearing complaints?
You sigh as you contemplate raising complaining children.
You grit your teeth as you manage dozens of “suggestion box” stuffing employees.
You lead in a church where people are more passionate about the thermostat than the day’s sermon.
How do you respond to complaints? Aaron and Moses response to Israel’s complaints is singular and surprising.
“We are not worth complaining against, but the Always Present One hears your complaints against Him.” (Exodus 16:7, IEB)
A creative way to pass the buck! Moses was pretty good at wondering aloud, “God, what are you going to do about Your children.” Moses talks to God like the spouse who didn’t want the dog and now wonders what the dog-loving spouse is going to do about the chewed up couch?!
But in some ways I think Aaron and Moses have it right. If you want to complain, talk to God. We are not worth complaining against!
God, do you really want to hear our complaints? I suppose you’d rather hear complaints than to be ignored. When we complain to politicians and “powers that be” constantly, does this show where our allegiance is, where we think power lives? Teach us to complain to you, Lord. Are we humans worth complaining against?
If you are used to complaining against politicians, religious leaders, teachers, parents, children, employers, others in traffic, then take a day off today from complaining to these people. Enjoy the day. When you think of complaining, turn to God and complain to One who can actually do something about your complaint.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.