To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken.—Jer. 6.10

Murmuring and Complaining

Considered in Light of 1 Corinthians 10.10,

During Covenanter Fellowship 2022.11.30

By way of Conference.

Q. Why are we not supposed to murmur and complain?

1 Cor. 10.10:

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured,
and were destroyed of the destroyer.

  1. We must avoid murmuring and complaining because according to the apostle every example of complaining and murmuring recorded in Holy Scripture is written that we may learn from it.  But these examples all teach us to beware of such murmuring and complaining.

    Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, ... Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

  2. We must avoid murmuring and complaining because such works are contrary to the nature of patience, and contrary to the example of Christ, Romans 15.1-4:

    We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

    Likewise, Patience being an expression of faith’s activity, whatever is contrary to the nature of Patience must also be in a great measure contrary to faith, 2 Thess. 1.4, and to the whole chain of Christian virtues, Rom. 5.1-5.

  3. We must avoid murmuring and complaining because our Lord commands us to beware of hypocrisy, Luke 12.1.  But it is great hypocrisy for us to indulge these expressions of our impatience and unbelief while we admire those who have contended for the faith before us with better fortitude as the example they leave for us, Heb. 12.1:

    Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

  4. We must beware of murmuring and complaining because the selfishness of these vices makes them so blinding that a man knows nothing but his own feeling and experience when he indulges his flesh this way.  But if our murmuring is blind and without direction, we cannot tell who we murmur against.  ☞ Exod. 16.2,7:

    And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:... And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?

Other Notes:

  • Murmuring signifies speaking against a person or thing out of dislike, impatience, or discontent. (MP)

  • If we would persuade a man of something, we must make it evident that we love; bitter words will not persuade.

  • Murmuring is a kind of kicking against the pricks. (AW)

  • From John 6.43 it is evident that Christ takes notice of your secret mutterings. (GH)

  • Murmuring is opposed to Psalm 37.7 which says to Rest in the Lord.

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.