The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)


Read Text:  “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that
                     murmured (grumble or rebel) shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24).

1.  The sin of murmuring is almost as old as time.
     a.  We have no record of Adam and Eve murmuring (or complaining)
     b.  but Cain did and it was prevalent among the Israelites.
2.  God had so graciously led them from the land of bondage,
     a.  yet at the first difficulty they murmured against Him.
     b.  They murmured against Moses repeatedly (Read Ex. 16:2-3, 7-8).
3.  Loved Ones, please notice
     a.  that when we murmur against one of God's ministers or leaders
     b.  God considers it an affront to Him.
          1.  If we really believed this
          2.  surely there would be less murmuring in the church today.
4.  Look around us, can’t we see that God is among us?
     a.  This addition; all these new souls in Christ...
     b.  the faith, hope, and love that is growing in this congregation?
5.  Brethren, why in the world should we be murmuring
     a.  or complaining about anything?
     b.  I believe it’s our pride - that old deceptive pride (Oba. 3),
     c.  The pride of our heart causes us to sin (1 John 2:15-17).
6.  This sin of murmuring is a serious matter
     a.  and many are going down to perdition
     b.  either from lack of teaching on the subject
     c.  or who are willing to be ignorant or disobedient.

I.  Murmuring is Unreasonable


1.  Jeremiah wanted to know
     a.  just what right a man has to complain
     b.  when punished for his crimes? (Lamentations 3:39).
2.  The thieves on the cross recognized this
     a.  when one railed at Christ.
     b.  The other said,  "Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation;
            And we justly; for we receive due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing
            amiss" (Luke 23:39-40).


II.  Murmuring Tempts and Provokes God


1.  Read Exodus 17:1-3, 7.
2.  The Israelites did this numerous times and received punishment.
3.  Do we think God will overlook our murmuring?
     a.  Verily nay.
     b.  These things were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4).


III.  Murmuring is a Characteristic of the Wicked


1.  Paul tells us of a people who were enemies of the cross of Christ;
     a.  and whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly
     b.  and whose glory is in their shame,
          1.  who set their on mind earthly things (Phil. 3:18-19).
          2.  Does this not have a familiar ring today?
2.  The child of God must refrain from murmuring.
     a.  We are commanded to “do all things without murmuring and disputing”(Phil. 2:14).
     b.  We are to glorify God with our body and spirit (I Corinthians 6:20).
     c.  Solomon said the foolishness of man perverts or twists his way,
              and his heart frets (gets angry) against the Lord (Proverbs 19:3).
3.  The Psalmist admonishes us to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
     a.  We must cease from anger and stop fretting (Psalm 37:7-8).
     b.  Paul points out the folly of murmuring against the Lord:  "But indeed,
                    O man, who are you to reply against God?" (Rom. 9:19-20).
4.  The fact that we derive no benefit from murmuring should be deterrent enough,
     a.  but that we shall be punished for murmuring (cf. Num. 14) should be an added deterrent.
     b.  Malachi 3:14 says, "Ye have said it is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have
                kept his ordinances, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?"
         1.  How often we hear this today - especially by the babe in Christ -
         2.  or by one who is steeped in sorrow over the loss of a loved one
         3.  who was a faithful child of God when rank sinners live and prosper.
5.  It is difficult, by man's reasoning, to understand,
     a.  but God has a book of remembrance before Him
     b.  for them that fear Him.
6.  We must ever remember that we walk by faith - not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).


IV.  Examples of Murmurers


1.  We are reminded of Jonah.
     a.  He is one of the most pitiful examples of murmurers
     b.  found in the Bible.
2.  First he fled rather than accept the assignment God gave him,
     a.  but when he decided to go preach to Nineveh and they repented,
     b.  he became angry because God did not destroy them.
     c.  He murmured about everything (Read the book of Jonah).
3.  There are several lessons to be learned from this incident in Jonah's life.
     a.  Though Jonah was a prophet of God he could sin.
     b.  It shows the presence of God cannot be escaped.
     c.  It proves God is also God of the seas.
          1.  It proves God condemns sin in all nations
          2.  and is merciful to the penitent of all nations.
     d.  It proves the foolishness of being angry with God.
     e.  It showed Jonah that God's love crosses racial boundaries.
     f.  And, it rebuked Israel in their rejoicing over the calamities of outside nations.
          1.  They did not understand that God's selection of them as His chosen people
           2.  was for a specific purpose and for a limited period of time.
4.  God had not forsaken His other peoples.
     a.  They received the same material blessings as Israel,
     b.  and had they been obedient
     c.  they would have received the same spiritual blessings.
5.  The brother of the "Prodigal Son" (Luke 15)
     a.  reasoned much as did Jonah,
     b.  and I fear that same reasoning is among us today.
6.  The great prophet Elijah murmured.
     a.  In his contest with the prophets of Baal
     b.  he incurred the hatred of Jezebel, who vowed to take his life,
          1.  and fled to the wilderness beyond Beersheba
          2.  and sat under a Juniper tree indulging in self-pity,
          3.  requesting that he might die; saying, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life;
                                                for I am not better than my fathers."
7.  There is a note of humbleness in this
     a.  for which Elijah is to be commended
     b.  but note his attitude even after God had sustained him
     c.  forty days and forty nights.
8.  He hid himself in a cave
     a.  and when the word of the Lord came to him he tried to defend his actions
     b.  by saying he was the only one left and they sought his life.
          1.  God told him He had left yet 7,000 in Israel
          2.  who had not bowed unto Baal (1 Kings 19:3-18).
          3.  Note especially verses 11-18.
9.  We find the Jewish people and Pharisees
     a.  murmuring against Christ on several occasions (Read John 7:11-13).
     b.  Murmuring was found among the disciples (John 6:59-61).
          1.  On one occasion even the apostles began murmuring over
          2.  who should be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Luke 9:46).
10. Another time a woman anointed Christ's feet with an expensive ointment.
     a.  Some had indignation, calling it a waste.
     b.  John identified him as Judas Iscariot
          1.  and said he cared not for the poor;
          2.  but because he was a thief, had the bag,
          3.  and bear what was put therein (John 12:4-6).


1.  Human nature is the same as in the days of Jonah.
     a.  Without the love of God in our hearts for fallen man
     b.  we would be in the same condition he was.
2.  In the 13th chapter of first Corinthians
     a.  we have what is sometimes referred to as the love chapter of the Bible.
     b.  It would be profitable if each child of God would memorize this chapter
     c.  for it is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10).
3.  The first and great commandment is love.
     a.  Love of God and for our neighbor (Matt. 22:37-40).
     b.  If we love as we are commanded
     c.  we will have no room in our hearts for murmuring.
4.  Paul wrote, "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the
                destroyer" (1 Corinthians 10:10).
5.  "Jesus therefore answered and said to them,  Do not murmur among yourselves" (John 6:43).
The lesson is yours...

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