Have you ever heard someone whine? Complain? Is it fun to listen to? Personally, nothing drives me crazier than whining!! I don’t like to listen to it and according to Numbers 11 and 12, neither does God!
Chapter 11 describes 2 times the Israelites complained. The first one the Bible doesn’t really tell us what they are whining about, just that God got angry!! He was so angry that He sent fire to consume the camp!! It starts on the outskirts and then Moses prayed and God stopped the fire. Secondly, they complained about the food. Now remember that God is still dropping manna out of heaven to feed them, but they want meat!! Well God is upset but tells Moses to tell the people He will give them meat. Moses, understandably, is a little concerned about where they are going to get that much meat but he trust God and tells the people. So God sends so many quail (birds) around the camp that they are all over the ground for a day’s journey all around. They gather quail for 2 days!! But then God sent an illness to punish them.
Chapter 12 tells about Moses brother, Aaron, and sister, Miriam, complaining about Moses getting all the attention. Then God sent a disease again. But Moses prayed for healing and Miriam got better.
But is it wrong to want things? Absolutely not! The problem is when we want something so much we stop seeing the good we have. That is when we start whining and complaining. We forget what God has provided and focus on what we don’t have. How would you feel if you worked hard to make something for someone and all they talked about was what you didn’t do? That would hurt!! God feels the same way. He gives us what we need and we need to be grateful. It is okay to think about other things and think it might be nice, as long as we are okay with and thankful for what we have already. That is called contentment and God wants us to be content. Do you know why? Because when you are focused on the good instead of the bad, you feel better and God likes it when we are happy!
Have each person list one thing it would be nice to have. Then have everyone list 5 things they can be thankful for. Encourage the kids to come up with things that are related. For example, if they would like their own room, they can be thankful they don’t have to share a bed and have a warm place to sleep. Help them see the blessings they have even if it isn’t their idea of perfect!