Now that we know where complaining comes from, what can we do to stop it? If we’re going to live without complaining we must first of all acknowledge the fact that MURMURING IS SIN! ALL MURMURING IS SIN! You see, as long as we justify and excuse murmuring we will not give it up. We’ll continue to tolerate it and mouth off as long as we don’t see, or admit, the seriousness and sinfulness of complaining.

Brethren, we’ve got to take complaining seriously and see it the way God sees it! And how does God see it? What does He think about all this complaining that we’re doing? Let’s hear Him speak for Himself.


  • Numbers 11:1a, And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:10, Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
  • Philippians 2:14, Do all things without murmurings and disputing.

When God tells us not to do something, and we go ahead and do it anyway, what do we call it? We call it disobedience. We call it sin.


  • 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.
  • Numbers 12:1-2, And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. {2} And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.

God takes our complaints personally. WHEN WE COMPLAIN, UNBEKNOWNST TO US,  WE’RE COMPLAINING TO GOD!

  • Exodus 16:8b, For that the Lord heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.
  • Numbers 14:26-27, And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, {27} How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

When we complain, to our unawares, we’re finding fault with God and picking a fight with Him.

  • Numbers 21:4-7, And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. {5} And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. {6} And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. {7} Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
  • Numbers 26:9, And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the Lord.

Our murmurings incite God to wrath. As I started out saying, God doesn’t want us to complain. And when we do, He gets mad. And He does bad things to us.

  • 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.
  • Psalms 106:24-27, Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: {25} But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. {26} Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: {27} To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:10, Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Friends, when things are going badly for you, don’t complain! Things have a way of going from bad to worse when you complain!

Murmuring left undealt with becomes a habit. It becomes our chosen response to life’s trials. And that’s a deadly, dangerous habit to get into! If you read the Scripture text of the wilderness wanderings in one sitting you’ll see that all the people did in their desert journey was complain. They complained in the Wilderness of Shur, Exodus 15:22-24. Then in the Wilderness of Sin, Exodus 16:1-3. When they came to Rephidim they complained because they didn’t have any water to drink, Exodus 17:1-7. When they got to Taberah they complained because they didn’t have the food that they had in Egypt, Numbers 11:1-3. When they finally reached the borders of the Promised Land, they complained because of the giants and strong-walled cities, Numbers 13:1-14:10. From the Wilderness of Zin to Mount Hor, the Israelites complained over the same ole things—no food or water, Numbers 20:1-6, 21:4-9. Even Miriam and Aaron were not immune from complaining. They registered their complaint and disapproval after Moses married an Ethiopian woman and Miriam was promptly chastised by the Lord, Numbers 12:1-15. Then came Korah and his bunch of dissenters who felt that Moses needed their help in leading the people, Numbers 16:1-11. When God swallowed up these rebels, the Israelites blamed Moses and Aaron for the deaths of these dissenters, Numbers 16:41-50.

For forty years, all the people did was complain! Complaining was a habit with them. And the thing of it was, neither miracles nor judgments stopped them from complaining! After all God did for them, and after all the judgments that resulted in death for thousands upon thousands of their families and friends, the Israelites still did not learn to keep their mouths shut or get their attitudes right. They kept right on complaining!

Friends, WHEN YOU BECOME A HABITUAL COMPLAINER YOU’RE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR GOD’S WRATH AND JUDGMENT. YOU’RE ASKING TO BE BARRED FROM THE KINGDOM! Read it for yourself in Hebrews 3:7-11, Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, (8) Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (9) When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. (10) Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. (11) So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

Jude 14-16 confirms the hellish consequences of habitual complaining: And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage (Jude 14-16).

Since murmuring is sin, what implications does this have on our conduct and behavior? (A) When we complain we’re wrong for doing it. At that point, we’ve sinned against God. The first thing God expects us to do after we murmur is repent and ask for His forgiveness. (B) Because murmuring is sin, then we simply mustn’t have a lackadaisical, uncaring attitude about it. We’ve got to take it seriously and stop complaining. Like all other sins, WE’VE GOT TO GET RID OF IT BEFORE IT GETS RID OF US.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, Part 4. I’ll look at some of the beliefs we have that induce or incite us to complain. It’ll be a real eye-opener. So drop by next week and get ready to see some things you might not have ever seen before.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Ludden said,

    December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Thanks for the post, Gaylord! I was looking forward to receiving it.

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