In the book of Numbers, Chapter 12, we read about Miriam and Aaron criticizing Moses (verse 1). God's response to them?
"So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses? The LORD was very angry with them, and He departed." (verses 8b-9)In Chapter 14 of Numbers, almost all the people began to complain. They cried "all night." They complained against Moses and against the LORD. (verses 2-3). And God's response to this?
"How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the signs I have done among them?" (verse 11)And the punishment? Verses 22-23 of Numbers 14 says:
"not one of these people will ever enter that (promised) land. ...but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice."A critical spirit, which often leads to complaining, angers God.
Unbelief, which often leads to contempt, angers God.
Refusing to listen, which often leads to disobedience, angers God.
Lest we think this is just an Old Testament warning, let's read Philippians 2:14-15:
"Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people."I find it fascinating that here we are told not to complain or argue so that no one can criticize us! We are, after all, like Moses, in that we are called to lead our generation into the promised land. And we are like Joshua and Caleb, called to believe, even when all those around us do not.