Grumbling and Complaining in Arabia

It's hot in Arabia. It doesn't take a genius to realise that.

Last year I was travelling and we stopped in Dubai, in the Arabian Peninsula for a day. As we pulled into the airport at about 12:00 midnight, we heard the pilot say "Welcome to Dubai, the temperature is 43 degress." Of course that was Celcius, or about 100 in the Old scale. In other words, it was very hot and that was at midnight. The next day we realised that its even hotter in the daytime.

Of course Dubai is a priveleged place (the last 20 years at least) and they have air conditioning everywhere, but most of the arabian peninsula doesn't and life would have to be very tough for people.

We often think that the children of Israel left Egypt and wondered around the Sinai desert. However in the writings of Paul, he very clearly says in the book of Galatians that Mt Sinai is in Arabia. In other words, the children of Israel did pass through the Sinai desert but they wandered around in Arabia too... and its VERY hot. Check out this page about the temperature in Arabia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Saudi_Arabia

After realising this, I came to see the exodus story in a new light. The children of Israel began to grumble and complain in the desert. They had gone 3 days without water and said to Moses "You have brought us out here to die." I imagine that if you or I were in the Arabian desert in that heat for 3 days without water, we might be tempted to grumble and complain a little too.

In the book of Corinthians it says that "God was not pleased with most of them" and that "their bodies were scattered through the desert." They were supposed to trust God and after seeing the great miracles in Egypt, and the crossing of the red sea, they were supposed to believe He could do it again. But instead they didn't and they complained.

We need to look beyond our problems too, and not complain. God hates complaining, but He loves our praise. Praise implies that we trust God and know it will work out and are actively believing for Him to do something. Complaining implies we don't trust Him, that He doesn't know what He is doing and that we have faith for it NOT to work out.

So next time you get hot, praise God. Next time you have a big problem, pray about it and then praise God. No matter what happens, learn your way to the heart of God, its faith and praise.