“The foolishness of man perverts his ways—and his heart frets against the Lord.”
Truly, He’s our most faithful Friend (Prov. 18:24; Jn. 15:14-15; Heb. 2:11) and we should never think ill of Him.
Such a malady of soul, this inward restlessness, that afflicts so many—even believers. Once harbored in the heart, it is quite infectious, moving upward to the mind and affecting both attitude and actions alike.
Rooted in resentment and unmet expectations, it’s the antithesis of gratitude, which is rooted in Grace. It grows in the soil of Disillusionment and flourishes in a climate of Discouragement and Disappointment. And, if left unchecked, it shall soon lead one to act “foolish (Heb. ‘ivveleth’—‘silly, filled with folly, perverse, etc.’),” either as the town clown or some homeless, abandoned orphan.
We know of the Israelites’ continual murmuring and complaining in the wilderness. The Lord would meet one need and soon they were attacking Moses and Aaron about another, accusing them of ulterior motives and hateful ways (Ex. 16:2-3; 17:2-3).
But, the problem wasn’t with those two Godly leaders.
The problem lay within their own hearts. And, without realize it (or caring), their discontentment was a sin against God Himself (Ex. 16:9).
As “Pilgrims of the Way,” so often our “fretting (Heb. ‘za ‘aph’—‘to act peevish, boil up, be angry with, agitated, etc.’)” is over others—i.e., the way they act, think or talk. Yet, God’s Word instructs us to “Fret not ourselves because of evildoers, neither be envious against workers of iniquity—for they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb” (Ps. 37:1-2).
Simply put, they flourish for a season; but the Time will come when their frivolous ways will cease and their “tribe” will bother us no more.
Yet, until that time we must ever be on-guard against “fretting against the Lord.” How easy it is to get disappointed or angry with God when “things don’t go right”—i.e., the way we want them to go. Again, our discontentment is a sin against the Lord, Pilgrim, for it basically insinuates that He either doesn’t care about us or isn’t behaving toward us in a loving way.
Perhaps we should all carry a portable recorder around with us for a few days, taping everything we say during a typical day. . . when we’re sitting in that traffic jam. . .when someone has pricked us with unkind or critical words. . .when we’re tired and given another deadline to meet, etc.
Then, we ought to play it and listen to it before retiring for the night.
It might cause us to realize that today’s Manna is more needed than we thought. May the Holy Spirit help us today to be very careful in our thoughts and tongue-utterances—for foolishness and fretfulness always like to travel together.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 29, 2010