Deuteronomy 1:27 Nevertheless you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God; and you complained in your tents..
Forty years had now come and gone. The former generation had passed away in the wilderness. It was now time for the second generation to be given the opportunity to go into the promise land. As the nation of Israel was preparing to move forward, Moses began to recount the failures of the former generation that did not allow them to enter the land. God had promised to take the people into the land. He had promised to fight their battles. Israel had already observed the power of God in destroying the nation of Egypt for their deliverance. This was to serve as a sign to them that the Lord would surely defeat any foe in the future.
Moses pointed out that rebellion was the first reason they missed out on going into the land. The people were not willing to believe God's Word. They did not obey God's Word. When it says they rebelled, it is a indication that they were not submitted to God's Word. Rebellion can be a very subtle sin within the heart. It is something that we can quickly justify as righteous indignation. We can come up with our reasons, even sometimes "biblical reasons" we feel justified. We can easily blame others. Yet as I allow the Holy Spirit to search me I come to realize that rebellion is an issue of the heart, and it's an indicator of a lack of brokeness in an area of my life. If I am not submitted to God I will have a difficulty submitting to anyone else. Yet to rebel against God's will for my life is to miss out on what God wants to do. Another Old Testament example of this was King Saul. Saul was a man whose life was marked by rebellion. For the Lord said to Saul at one point, "to obey is better than sacrifice." The rebellion of the people led to complaining.
Many of us are not aware of this, but complaining is a sin. I remember the first time someone told me that, I was shocked! Like rebellion, complaining is also very subtle. We complain so much we don't realize how much we do it. Moses pointed out that their complaining took place in their tents. It was behind closed doors, it was in the privacy of their own home. But when you look at the record of the nation, you find that the complaining didn't stay in their tents very long. For as the story unfolds that complaining made it's way outside the tent. They complained against Moses, they complained against Aaron, they complained against God. They complained about everything. This was another reason that they did not enter into the land. The complaining gave way to questioning God's plan and motives. The people even went so far to accuse God of seeking to ruin their lives. Consequently everyone around them was also discouraged.
Moses' warning was to serve as a valuable lesson to the next generation of what not to do. I realize in my own life I need to be sure I am submitted to the will of God. If there is any root of rebellion I need ask the Lord to uproot it. If I ask Him, He will do just that. The process can be painful, but the truth is, we need to be broken. Also I realize how easy it is for me to complain instead of be content. Rather than complain I need to be thankful for all that the Lord has done and continues to do. The fact that I have been given salvation is more than I will ever deserve.
Father today we ask that you would forgive us when we rebel against Your will for our lives. Today we choose to enter into all that You have for us. Lord forgive us when we complain. May we learn in whatever state we are in to be thankful and content. In Jesus Name Amen.