A grumpy rider on a Chicago city bus complained constantly during his ride. He complained about the constant stopping, the air conditioning, etc. As he was finally stepping off the bus, he stopped to scold the driver, making a terrible public scene. As the disagreeable passenger was leaving, a voice called out, "Just a minute, you left something behind." "What?" the ruffian demanded. "A very bad impression," a gentle old lady answered. The word translated "murmur" means to find fault or to complain. This is an evil that is forbidden in the Scriptures.
There are numerous illustrations of murmuring in the Bible. The Israelites started murmuring almost as soon as they had been delivered from Egypt (Exodus 14:11; 15:24). On many occasions in their wilderness journeyings, they complained and found fault (Exodus 16:2; 17:2, 3; Numbers 11:1 – 4; 21:5). Murmuring has been described as tempting God (Exodus 17:2), and Scripture makes it very clear that it provokes God (Numbers 14:2 – 11). There are records of punishment for murmuring (Numbers 11; 14:27 – 29; 16:45, 46). The late world-wide radio evangelist, C. M. Ward, was correct when he warned, "God will not give an audience to a griper."
In John 6:41, the Bible records, "The Jews complained about Him, because He said, 'I am the bread which came down from heaven'."
Arthur Pink wrote, "These Jews were 'murmuring,' and it is a significant thing that the same word is used here as in the Septuagint (the first Gentile translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) of Israel murmuring in the wilderness. In few things does the depravity of the human heart reveal itself so plainly and so frequently as in murmuring against God. It is a sin which few, if any, are preserved from."
In Psalm 144: 14 and 15 we read, "There should be no complaining in our streets...for happy are the people whose God is the Lord." Rev. Richard Stephen, vicar of a church in Cheshire, England, reminded his congregation, "Our forefathers did without sugar until the 13th century, without coal fires until the 14th, without buttered bread until the 16th, tea or soup until the 17th, without gas, matches or electricity until the 19th, without cars, canned or frozen foods until the 20th. Now, what was it you were complaining about?"
Billy Graham wrote, "Some anonymous wise man said, 'If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about'." "Do all things without complaining," Philippians 2:14.