BE YE THANKFUL CHRISTIAN
“Neither MURMUR YE, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” [1Cor 10:10]
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and BE YE THANKFUL.” [Col 3:15]
Wouldest thou grow in this grace of fear? Then take heed of A MURMURING AND REPINING HEART, for that is not a heart for this grace of fear to grow in. As for instance, when men murmur and repine at God’s hand, at His dispensations, and at the judgments that overtake them, in their persons, estates, families, or relations, their murmuring tendeth to destroy fear; FOR A MURMURING SPIRIT IS SUCH AN ONE AS SEEMS TO CORRECT GOD, and to find fault with His dispensations, and where there is that, the heart is far from fear.
A murmuring spirit either comes from that wisdom that pretends to understand that there is a failure in the nature and execution of things, or from an envy and spite at the execution of them. Now if murmurings arise from this pretended wisdom of the flesh, then instead of fearing of God, His actions are judged to be either rigid or ridiculous, which yet are done in judgment, truth, and righteousness. So that a MURMURING HEART CANNOT BE A GOOD ONE FOR THE FEAR OF GOD TO GROW IN.
Alas! the heart where that grows must be a soft one; as you have it in Job 23:15, 16; and a heart that will stoop and be silent at the most abstruse of all His judgments.
“I was dumb, because THOU didst it.” (Psalm 39:9) The heart in which this fear of God doth flourish is such, that it bows and is mute, if it can but catch sight of the hand, wisdom, justice, or the holiness of God in this or the other of his dispensations, and so stirs up the soul to fear before Him. But if this murmuring ariseth from envy and spite, that looketh so like to the spirit of the devil, that nothing need be said to give conviction of the horrible wickedness of it.
– Excerpt from ‘The Fear of God’ by John Bunyan.