I'm not suggesting that murmuring is necessarily a good or right thing. I'm just saying that it happens.
Here's what I am saying: when we murmur, our angst is generally misplaced.
One thing I have learned, in my two journeys through the Bible, is that God is absolutely sovereign.
Theologian R.C. Sproal puts it this way:
"If there is one maverick molecule in all the universe, then God is not sovereign. And if God is not sovereign, He is not God."
When we lost 45% of our cash assets in October of 2008, I said to God, "God, look at what happened to me!" When a business agreement went south, and significantly impacted our lives, I said to God, "God, look at what this guy is doing to us!"
When Israel began their wandering in the desert, only three days after crossing the Red Sea, they murmured to Moses.
"Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”"
Here's C.H. Spurgeon on this scene:
"Observe—and this is worthy of note—that the murmuring was not ostensibly against God. They murmured against Moses. And have you ever noticed how the most of us, when we are in a murmuring vein, are not honest enough to murmur distinctly against God. No: the child is dead, and we form a conjecture that there was some wrong treatment on the part of nurse, or surgeon, or ourselves; we lay our hold on that for which there may not be a shadow of proof, and the murmuring is upon that point. Or we have lost money, and have been brought down from opulence to almost poverty; then some one person was dishonest, a certain party betrayed us in a transaction by failing to fulfill his part; all the murmuring is heaped on that person. We deny, perhaps indignantly, that we murmur against God; and to prove it we double the zeal with which we murmur against Moses. To complain of the second cause is about as sensible as the conduct of the dog, which bites the stick with which it is beaten. It owes no anger to the stick, but to the person who uses it. Is there evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it? Whoever is the instrument, the Lord overrules. In our heart of hearts our rebellion is against the Lord himself. We have not quite honesty enough to rail against God openly and avowedly, and so we hypocritically cover up our repining against him by murmuring against some person, occasion, or event."
God is not Santa Claus, only there to provide good gifts to us. God is Lord of all, and sometimes he ordains that trials come upon us.
At the end of the day, am I saying that it was God who removed 45% of my cash assets? Am I saying that it was God who allowed a written business agreement to head south costing us a significant loss of income?
I am learning that it is foolhardy to place anyone, or anything at the very root of life's path. I'm not suggesting an irresponsible passiveness when we encounter such things, only that God Almighty uses these things to teach and test.
The Israelites should have mumbled to God. When we lost 45% of our cash assets, I should have mumbled directly to God. When our business agreement went south, I should have mumbled to God.
It would have been more honest for me to point my finger at God, rather than blaming others, or circumstances.
God is big enough to receive our misplaced angst, and in time will teach us to bow before him as King, Lord, Savior, Creator, and more importantly, Father.