PRETTY GOOD SHOW FOR A NICKEL
A typical American family was driving home from church one Sunday. Dad was fussing about the sermon being too long and he also said it was boring. Mom said the organist played too loud. Sis said the soloist sang off key. Grandma said she couldn't hear the sermon. As they pulled into the driveway, Junior said, "Yep, but you gotta admit, it was a pretty good show for a nickel."
Some people are ungrateful about their experiences while others experience the same things and are thankful. Some look for the negative and others look for the positive. Some complain and others are complimentary.
And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and
the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of
the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the
uttermost parts of the camp.
27"...How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?
28..as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all...from twenty years old upward, which have murmured against me,
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land,..."
Numbers 21:4-6 (MURMURING BROUGHT THE
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."
I. MURMURING BRINGS GOD'S PUNISHMENT
A. COMPLAINING IS WICKED
1. Numbers 14:27 He said the congregation was evil because of it
2. Hebrews 3:10 "They erred by complaining..."
3. Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without murmuring..."
B. SOME PEOPLE ARE CAMOUFLAGED COMPLAINERS
1. HYPOCRITICAL THANKS
A man sat down to supper with his family. They prayed over the meal, thanking God for the
food. But during the meal he complained about the toast, the coffee, and the eggs. His young
daughter questioned him, "Dad, do you think God heard your prayer today?" He answered
confidently, "Of course." Then she asked, "Well, do you think God heard what you said about
the toast, the coffee, and the eggs?" Not so confidently, he answered, "Why, yes, I believe so."
The little girl concluded, "Then which do you think God believed, Dad?"
2. Numbers 21:15 The people spake against God and Moses
a) To speak against Moses was to speak against God
b) To criticize Moses was to criticize God
c) God you made a mistake in putting this man here
C. SOME ARE OBVIOUS MURMURERS
1. THE GRUMBLERS
In country, town, or city,
Some people can be found
Who spend their lives a grumblin'
At everything around.
They grumble, grumble, grumble
No matter what we say.
For these are chronic grumblers;
They grumble night and day.
They grumble at the preacher;
They grumble at his prayer;
They grumble at the offering
They grumble everywhere.
They stay away from meetin'
Because it's hot or cold
Or when it looks like rainin';
A headache or a cold.
They grumble when it's rainin'
They grumble when it's dry;
And if a little chilly, they
Grumble and they sigh.
And when they go out shoppin'
And see the price is high,
They grumble, grumble, grumble,
They'll grumble 'til they die.
2. YOU FRIED THE WRONG ONE
A man came to breakfast one morning and told his wife he wanted two eggs -- one fried,
one scrambled. With no comment, the long-suffering wife cooked each egg to his specifi-
cations and then quietly put the plate in front of him. "Oh no!" he groaned, pushing it away.
"You've fried the wrong egg."
D. COMPLAINERS ARE PIRATES
1. We're on the OLD GOSPEL SHIP of the CHURCH
2. Pirates are stealing her treasure
3. Stealing her joy, spirit, and virtue with complaining
E. EXAMPLES OF CHURCH PIRATES
1. MICHAL (David's wife) 2Sam 6:20-22
a) Didn't like David's dance before the Lord
b) Criticized his praise and thanksgiving
c) Michals in the church today criticize the way we praise
d) They don't like it when you get excited
2. QUEEN ATHALIA (Joash's Grandmother) 2Kings 11
a) She thought she had destroyed all the kings descendants
b) She got furious when the people rejoiced over Joash
c) She criticized their reason for praising the Lord
d) Athalia's in our church criticize our reasons for praising
e) They don't like it when you get something and they don't
3. MRS. JOB (Job's wife) Job 2:9
a) Why don't you just curse God and die
b) She criticized the timing of Job's praise
c) These people are ignorant and short-sighted
d) They don't want anyone praising the Lord when there is trouble
4. PHARISEES Matt 21:16
a) Do you hear what these children are saying in front of us?
b) They criticize the place where you praise the Lord
c) They are ritualistic and only want you praising in church
d) They look at you strange when you walk down the aisle of store singing hymns
e) They tell you they don't like your humming and singing
II. PRAISING BRINGS GOD'S BLESSINGS
16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when t1he priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua
said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city...
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and...the wall fell down
flat...and they took the city.
2 Chr 20:21-22
21 And when he (Jehoshaphat) had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the
LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and
to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children
of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,
and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners
heard them. (KJV)
A. THE BLESSING MAY BE OBVIOUS
THANKSGIVING BROUGHT AN OVERFLOW
F. B. Meyer was pastor of Christ's Church in London at the same time that G. Campbell
Morgan was pastor of Westminister Chapel and Charles H. Spurgeon was pastor of the
Metropolitan Chapel. Both Morgan and Spurgeon often had much larger audiences than
did Meyer. Troubled by envy, Meyer confessed that not until he began praying for his
colleagues did he have peace of heart. "When I thanked God for them and prayed for their
success," said Meyer, "the result was that God filled their churches so full that the overflow
filled mine, and it has been full since."
B. THE BLESSING MAY BE DISGUISED
1. PRAISE THE LORD ANYWAY
The story is told of a man who raised horses for a living.
When one of his prized stallions ran away, his friends gathered at his home to mourn his great
loss. After they had expressed their concern, the man said,"Praise the Lord anyhow!" A couple
days later the runaway horse returned with several strays following close behind. That very
afternoon the horse kicked the owner's son and broke the young man's leg. Once more the
crowd assembled -- to express their sorrow over the incident. "Praise the Lord anyhow!" the
father said again. Well, only a few days later, war broke out. The man's son, however, was
exempted from the military service because of his broken leg. This tale points out that from our
limited human perspective, it's impossible to know with certainty how to interpret the experiences
2. THANK GOD FOR THE FLEAS
Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place relates an incident which taught her this principle. She and
her sister, Betsy, had just been transferred to the worst German prison camp they had seen yet,
Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and flea
infested. Their Scripture reading that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice
always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and
thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give
thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. She finally succumbed. During the months spent at that
camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings
without guard interference. It was several months later when they learned that the guards would
not enter the barracks because of the fleas.
C. IT'S ALWAYS BEST TO PRAISE THE LORD