by Dan Goddard


We are living in a generation of murmurers.  Murmur means to be obstinate, to complain and grumble in a low voice.  Murmurers covertly stir up trouble.  They are gossiping- manipulative-cowards who try to propagate a personal agenda by inciting riot and discontent while operating in alleged anonymity.  Murmurers are often unforgiving, ruthless, and self seeking. Murmurers often engage in backbiting and slander while distorting and misrepresenting the truth.

I have purposely painted an ugly picture of murmuring and the people who participate in murmuring, in a word, murmuring is a sin.  Yet, it has become as common as sliced bread in our society.  Christians must be extremely careful not to be caught up in murmuring.  What do we learn from the Bible about murmurers and murmuring?

Murmuring is contentious—it tests the Lord (Exodus 15:24; 16:2-12; 17:3-7).  As the children of Israel contended with the Lord because of their lack of faith, so murmurers do today.  Every time we murmur, we are testing the Lord in unbelief.  Just think—when I murmur, I am telling the Lord and people around me that I do not believe God.

Murmurers are rebellious (Deuteronomy 1:26-27).  Have you ever known a trouble-making murmurer who was not rebellious?  We cannot murmur without rebelling in unbelief.

Murmurers pay a penalty for rebelling against the Lord (Numbers 14:2, 29; I Corinthians 10:8-10).  The penalty for the children of Israel was that they could not enter the Promised Land.  Of that generation, only Joshua and Caleb (who did not murmur against the Lord) entered the Promised Land.  Also there is a price to pay for murmuring in this life.  Have you ever known a happy and content murmurer?  Have you known someone who always talked negatively and was happy?

Murmurers do not heed the word of God (Psalms 106:25).  Those who heed God’s word are happy and content having a spirit of meekness.  These people never murmur because they fully trust the Lord to deliver them from trials while looking to their heavenly home.

Murmurers are offended at Gods grace, mercy, love, and kindness (Matthew 20:11).  Murmurers are always comparing themselves to others.  They are never content.  If a murmurer ever made it into heaven he would spend his time complaining about all of the other people in heaven, of course, there will be no murmurers in heaven.

Murmurers are Ignorant, speaking against the things which they do not understand (Luke 5:30; 15:2; 19:7; John 6:41, 61).  When someone murmurs they are showing their ignorance (or perhaps their stupidity).  The Jews often murmured against Jesus.  Did they ever stop to consider that Jesus was right and they were wrong?  Did the Jews, who persecuted Jesus to the death, take time to ask questions and learn from Him?  Murmurers generally think that they are right and that everyone else is wrong.  They are ignorant and unwilling to learn.

Murmurers are ungodly people (Jude 12-16).  There is not one godly person living upon the earth who is a murmurer.  These ungodly people often try to turn people against God by teaching lies.  They may use flattering speech or stir up contention.  Murmurers will do anything to turn someone away from God.

CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEVER MURMUR (Philippians 2:14-16).  Paul expressly commands us to do all things without murmuring and disputing.  If we murmur, we have sinned and must repent and pray for forgiveness.