I just read the seventeenth chapter of Exodus and can’t help but to shake my head in disbelief at Israel’s display of ingratitude through their incessant murmuring and complaining, especially when considering the fact that God was constantly proving himself by way of miracles performed on their behalf. But just about the time I’m feeling all pious and self righteous, the Holy Spirit convinces me that, had I been in that same situation, I undoubtedly would have followed the crowd, rather than the cloud.
I don’t like to admit my own shortcomings, but there is no denying that I’ve regularly caught myself complaining about the very things God said he would provide if I would just follow Him. How can I be so judgmental and condemning of the Old Testament Israelites when this New Testament saint is just as wretched? They witnessed the ten plagues upon Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna from heaven, and water from the rock. I’ve witnessed hundreds of lives supernaturally changed by the amazing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve seen drunkards become respectable citizens, and not so virtuous women become saintly keepers of the faith. I watched as sons and daughters embraced a parent for the first time as a loving Mom or Dad. I’ve seen miracles on as equal a plane as the Old Testament saints when you think of it in terms of eternity! And yet, just like them, I am guilty of whining, murmuring, and complaining.
But do you know what amazes me more than the humanity of the Israelites and the blatant exhibit of my own carnality? You probably guessed it; the longsuffering and forgiveness of God. The Psalmist nailed it over and over by singing “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever!”
No one likes to be around people with negative attitudes. Take a few minutes right now and determine that today, rather than whine, murmur, or complain, you are going to maintain a positive attitude and be a blessing to someone. Today, determine that you are going to follow the cloud rather than the crowd!