Wearing Out the Preacher
Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Israel had a bad habit of complaining to Moses about their situation as if he was the one who caused their situation. The incident from the verse above happened as Israel came to a place with no water. These people said to Moses, Give us water that we may drink. My question for these people is, where is Moses supposed to get this water? Why are you griping at Moses as if he was the one who caused you not to have water? These people could have gone to God with their situation; just like Moses did.
Israel’s complaining and griping wore out Moses. There came a point in their complaining that it affected Moses so much that he smote the rock to show them his anger instead of speaking to it like God told him to do. No, Moses should not have smitten the rock, but they wore him, and he eventually broke and smote the rock. In reality, these people wore out their preacher.
Nothing will wear your preacher out more than griping and complaining. People are prone to complain to their pastor about many things, not realizing they are not the only ones griping. One person will go to their pastor and gripe about something, but what they don't realize is that someone else gripes about the opposite, and somehow the pastor has to keep both people happy. Many preachers have been worn out, not because of the busyness of their schedule, but because of the griping of dissatisfied people who are focused on themselves instead of God.
In this same chapter that we read about the people chiding with Moses, there is another group of people who chose to be an encouragement to their preacher. Israel went to war against Amalek, and every time Moses held his hands high, Israel prevailed. However, his arms became weary, and had it not been for some encouraging men who realized this, Israel would have lost a battle to Amalek. Verse 12 says, But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. Aaron and Hur chose to be encouraging people who stayed his heavy arms so he could lead Israel to victory.
In every church, there are those who gripe and complain, but there are also those who choose to lift the arms of their preacher by encouraging them. It is this crowd that helps the preacher to go on. It is this crowd that helps the preacher to weather the barrage of the self-focused, negative people who complain and gripe about everything they don't like.
My friend, you have two choices. You can either be the crowd that wears your preacher out with griping and complaining, or you can be the crowd that lifts the arms of your preacher through encouragement and prayer. I want to challenge you to be the crowd that lifts the arms of your preacher. I know there will be times you disagree with your preacher, and there will be times when there are legitimate issues that your preacher needs to know about; however, instead of being the constant negative that wears your pastor out, consider praying about these situations before you bring them to his attention. Always make it a principle to be more of an encourager to your preacher than piling on him with the negative.