Numbers 11:1: And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
We can deduce that the complaining of the people of Israel was evidence of unbelief. They had a cloud guiding them by day and a pillar of fire by night. They were given manna every morning. They had been led out of slavery. They had been given wealth by the Egyptians. They had not been touched by the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians. All of their first-born had been spared while those of the Egyptians perished. They were promised a land that was flowing with milk and honey.
Not only was the Lord displeased, He was angry and sent a fire that consumed some of them. The passage does not enumerate any sin other than complaining. They perished because of complaining and only because of that. People complain because they are not satisfied. How do Christians who complain compare with the people of Israel?
Hebrews 13:5: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Philippians 4:19: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Christians have been forgiven their sins and freed from judgment. They have the opportunity to bring every problem to the Lord and leave it there. They have the promise of heaven. God*s guidance is available every step of the way. He will never leave them and He promises to supply every need.
God is never displeased with righteousness. Complaining is sin. Complaining is the opposite of praise and worship. We are to share the facts about our problems so that others might pray for them. And we are to share the facts about our problems with those who might help to solve them, especially the Lord. We need to know the difference between seeking solutions to problems and just complaining about them.
The Apostle Paul was a good example of that. He asked the Lord three times to take away his thorn in the flesh. After that he knew the problem was the Lord*s will and praised Him for it. Perhaps we should limit our complaining to three times and then switch to praising the Lord for it.
Ephesians 5:20: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Complaining isn*t giving thanks. The Strong*s Concordance lists this definition of the word grace: The divine influence upon the heart, including gratitude.
Chronic complainers have probably never experienced the Grace of God. An occasional complaint may be appropriate but when complaining is a way of life it is most certainly evidence of a deeper problem than the problem. Chronic complainers either doubt that God is in control of everything or they believe that He has permitted something bad. Both positions are insults to Him. They demonstrate that someone does not know the Lord very well or that they don*t know Him at all.