Last night I was talking with a friend and I found myself unloading financial stress and burdens on him.  Ugh.  If I’m honest, it was complaining.  And why should I complain?!  The Lord has provided me in so many ways, even miraculously.  From taxes (and accountant) getting paid, to getting my car paid off thanks to the stimulus check, for giving me a wonderful place to live.  Grrrr…. I hate it when I do that.

And it’s much more serious.

Complaining brought a lot of tension between the relationship between God and Israel.  Why?  It wasn’t just because of their complaining, but it was because he provided lavishly for them so they could walk in joy and with a cheerful heart.  But their complaining clouded that.

In the middle of this very difficult chapter on the curses, it says this…

These curses will be a sign and wonder against you and your descendants forever.  Because you didn’t serve the LORD your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything…” (v. 47)

Wowza.  God blesses us so that our hearts will be full of joy and we can serve him with great cheerfulness.  But they didn’t see that.  Or it was eclipsed by challenges.

I’m so sorry Lord.  Help me to cultivate joy.