In I Corinthians 10, Paul warned the New Testament believers to learn from the Old Testament believers, so as not to fall into the same error that they fell into. Among the error he identified were lust (I Cor 10:6), idolatry (I Cor 10:7), fornication (I Cor 10:8), tempting Christ (I Cor 10:9) and murmuring (I Cor 10:10).
I Cor 10:10
Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. (KJV)
Don’t complain as some of them did. The angel of death destroyed them. (GWT)
And we must not embrace their ways by complaining—grumbling with discontent, as many of them did, and were killed by the destroyer! (TPT)
The following questions will guide our study: why did Israel murmur? what is murmuring in the site of God, and how can a New Testament believer murmur?
Why did Israel Murmur?
There are many records of Israel murmuring in the course of their journey from Egypt to Canaan. For example, they murmured when they were thirsty and hungry (exodus 15:24;17:2&16:2-9), in numbers 14, they murmured because of the report of the ten spies revealed that there are giants in the land which God promised and they cannot possess it and in numbers 16 they murmured after the judgement of God came up Korah and his cohorts.
Among the five murmuring incidents, physical need (food and water) caused three, one was because they were afraid that they are likely to be defeated by giants who occupied the land of promise, and the last one was a protest because God dealt with the leaders who opposed Moses.
For the first three murmurings, Psalm 106: 12-13 captured the problem thus
Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
In verse 12, we saw Israel singing God’s praise because of the deliverance at the red sea. In verse 13 they forgot all that God did in Egypt and at the red sea. They also preferred land of Egypt, because of cucumbers and garlics that are abundant there (Exodus 17).
For the fourth murmuring, Psalm 106:24 captured the problem thus
Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word
The fourth murmuring showed that they despised the pleasant land which God promised. They preferred Egypt; their reason was that there are enough grave yards there.
The common factor in all the murmurings was that Israelite preferred Egypt and they don’t believe the word of God.
What is murmuring in the sight of God?
God expected that he and Israel will be on the same page concerning the Land he is taking them to. In the script of God, many actors like David, Jesus, and John the Baptist were in the loins of the men in the wilderness and God desire that they get into Canaan and settle down. The wilderness experience is a mere transit experience. To God murmurings are expressions showing that believers desires what God has delivered them from and not being excited about the inheritance God want deliver to them.
How can a New Testament believer murmur?
God has delivered us from the world and the devil and we should not desire anything in that region.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Some believers will say
Had it been, I am not of God, I could have gone to the devil to get relief from this oppression.
I have prayed for long and yet no result, I know a place I could have gone.
I could have been promoted but I cannot do what the unbelievers in my office are doing.
Any time you directly or directly desire what Egypt can offer or their style
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Repent every form murmuring you have engaged in