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Thursday, March 7, 2013

My "Israelite Attitude"

Yesterday, I was happily doing my Bible study. It was about Psalm 106 and the children of Israel. I was learning about Moses and his reaction—his bad reaction—when he struck the rock at Meribah in the wilderness of Zin* instead of giving God the glory for the miracle of providing water. He was mad.

I have always felt a little sorry for Moses. He heard almost nothing but complaining and groaning the whole time he was leading this huge nation of people through the wilderness.

They wanted this.

They wanted that.

They blamed Moses, and they blamed Aaron.

They griped and complained and even wished for slavery again.

Is it any wonder that their leader got "in the flesh" and had a bad reaction?

But when a leader sins, everyone sees it.

When a leader takes the credit away from God, he wipes out his spiritual leadership in that moment.

That’s why God held him accountable and didn’t let him enter the Promised Land.

So very sad.

And then, God spoke to my heart.

I’m not usually a complainer, and I’m generally positive and upbeat. I think most people see me as joyful and content.

But yesterday, I griped and complained in my soul. I was discontented and had a rotten attitude. I was no different from the children of Israel. I didn’t like my circumstances, which to be honest could have been a lot worse. I was nasty inside.

Just like the Israelites.

Boom! God spoke to me through His Word. I realized I was looking at my circumstances and not at the Lord. I realized I was furnishing myself my own private pity party, which wasn’t exactly rejoicing in my blessings. I saw what I was . . .

I was there at the waters of Meribah. I was a squawker, too.

How easy it is to judge the Israelites for their rotten, complaining attitude and forget that, but for the grace of God, we are exactly the same. How easy it is to take our eyes off of the Lord and forget to give Him the glory for His greatness. Sometimes, we might even miss God’s perfect plan for us as a result.

I had to repent.


Change my focus and look for good.

My circumstances didn’t change, but my outlook did. I can rejoice, look at God’s goodness, and have a happy week.

How about you? Do you ever have an “Israelite attitude”? How have you dealt with it? Feel free to leave a comment.

(*This story can be found in Numbers 20:2-13.)


  1. It's strange how often this is coming up in my reading this week! Maybe because it's something I need to pay more attention to....

    A blog friend was struggling with what she saw as God's harsh treatment of the Israelites in the wilderness, when she thought complaining was not something specified in the law as a sin. The next day in The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, she wrote from I Corinthians 10:1-11, where complaining is listed right along idolatry and fornication as sins. I was able to share with that with this friend, plus the thought that in this passage God is seen as fully justified in His response, and that He hadn't zapped them right off the bat but had "put up with" their complaining for a long time. And complaining can probably be found in the law as part of "Thou shalt not covet" -- if we're discontent with our circumstances, we're coveting other circumstances.

    It's all too easy to have that attitude, and yet we have so much and so little reason to complain.

    1. Oh yes . . . too easy!

      Love that book, The Quiet Place. It's one of my favorites. It is so practical!

      Thank you for commenting, Barbara.

  2. Si muchas, hace unos años era casi diaria mente, ahora procuro estar mas centrada en ver las señales de Dios en mi vida diaria. Y les puedo asegurar que se vive mejor, centrando su vida en el Señor.

    1. Yes, much better to live focused on our Savior! Thank you for your comment, Tere.


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