Defeating the Murmur Monster

Life is difficult and how we respond to that difficulty demonstrates our measure of trust and delight in God. Many times we are too self-centered or self-focused that we miss all the God is doing and working in us and in others. When we are self-focused, we complain, gripe, or murmur. The books of Exodus and Numbers show us what God thinks of murmuring and it should be a warning for us when we spot it in our thinking and attitudes. 

Murmuring is complaining about people or situations, which shows our lack of trust and gratefulness in God and spreads to infect others with this bitter spirit.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (Root of Bitterness- this is a heart condition)

Ways that we murmur:

Numbers 11-12

  • Disappointment– I’m not getting what I want! (11:4)

  • Nostalgia– The old days were better! (11:5) (Ecclesiastes 7:10)

  • Blame/Accusation– Why did God bring us here? (11:6) Why (God) are you doing this to me? (11:11)

  • Defeat– I can’t do this! (11:12-14)

  • Ultimatum– If You do this, God then I’ll be able to handle it. (11:15)

  • Doubt– This can’t work! (11:22-22)

  • Envy– Why them and not ME! (12:2)

God’s Response:

  • Anger (Numbers 11:1)

  • Help work through the situation (Numbers 11:16-17)

  • Hears the cries (Numbers 11:18)

  • Appropriate consequences (Numbers 11:19-20)

  • Anger/Plague (Numbers 11:33))

  • Puts people in their place (Numbers 12:5-9)

  • Anger/ Leaves (Numbers 12:9)

  • Sends Disease (Numbers 12:10-12)

Other passages: Exodus 16:7-8; Numbers 14:27-36; 16:11; 17:5

Fighting the Murmur Monster

Remember Hebrews 12:14-15 (Root of Bitterness)

Principles from Philippians

  1. What does this matter since Christ is proclaimed? (Philippians 1:18)

  2. Humility (Philippians 2:3-11)

  3. Pure and Blameless witness (Philippians 2:14-15)

  4. Eternal Values and Goals (Philippians 3:7-10)

  5. Philippians 4:4-9

    1. God is NEAR

    2. God will HEAR

    3. Seek His PEACE

    4. Set your mind on GODLY THINGS

    5. PRACTICE what you have received-the GOSPEL

When we sense murmuring inside our hearts then we must remind ourselves of:

Who God is (His loving-kindness)

What God is doing/working (His holiness and kingdom)

What should be most important to us (What God wants)


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