“…and be content with what you have.” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

Ten years ago, discontentment ruled the land. There was so much dissatisfaction and complaining that America became the undisputed “whine” capital of the world. Since then, whine production rose 200%. Across the culture, “whine-making” has developed into an art form.

Professional protestors have sprung up. (Protesting is an aggressive and impassioned form of the more passive whining.) Politicians have become masters of manipulation. Political rallies stir the underlying fears and anger of the public into a frenzy. Candidates use slander and vitriol to make opponents enemies who must be stopped. Campaign appearances are an odd combination of worship service mixed with a mob atmosphere. He’s really mad, but she was madder!

During Israel’s exodus, crying and whimpering had grown into an epidemic. The Lord’s anger was aroused and fire broke out in the camp. After the fire died down, the rabble picked up again where they left off. “…we never see anything but this manna!” they moaned (Numbers 11:6).

Moses heard the rancor then offered his complaint before the Lord (11:10-15). God’s servant concluded his list of grievances with “If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now.”

Numbers 11 ends with a severe plague breaking out throughout the Israelites’ camp. Mouths that spoke of craving other food beside manna became portals for poisoned meat. At a place called “graves of craving,” the moans of discontentment were heard no more (11:34).

Before the Lord again takes the unpleasant step of shutting down the world’s complaining industry, it is time we un-whine ourselves. Like Paul, learn to be content in every circumstance (Philippians 4:11-12). The permanent silencing of whine-makers may be inevitable; we just don’t have to participate. Nor do we have to lie among the “graves of craving”.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)