Text:       1 Corinthians 10: 10-11

By:           Bro. Chris Afekolu (Bishop)

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Murmuring; According to Lexicon English dictionary, Murmuring is defined as;

  1. A low continuous indistinct sound; often accompanied by movement of lips without the production of articulate speech. {indistinct – not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand or unclear}
  2. A complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone. Syn. Grumble, grumbling, murmur, mutter


Murmuring was among the five major sins of Israel in the scripture;

  1. Lust for evil things
  2. Idolatry
  3. Fornication
  4. Tempting God and Christ
  5. Murmuring

Various accounts of their murmuring against Moses, Aaron and God were recorded in Bible. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, what shall we drink? (Exodus 15:24 KJV).

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.  And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, at even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? And Moses said, this shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. (Exodus 16:2-9 KJV).

How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, (Numbers 14:27-29 KJV).

Other scriptures for your study; Number 16: 11-50, Numbers 17:5-13, Deuteronomy 1:27.


1.1       Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come (1 Corinthians 10:10-11 KJV)

Verse 10.  Neither murmur ye. ). Implying that some of them in Corinth Church were murmuring just like some of us today.

As some of them also murmured.  Nu 14:2. “And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness”! (Numbers 14:2 KJV) The ground of their murmuring was, that they had been disappointed; that they had been brought out of a land of plenty into a wilderness of want; and that instead of being conducted at once to the land of promise, they were left to perish in the desert. They therefore complained of their leaders, and proposed to return again into Egypt.

And were destroyed of the destroyer. That is, they were doomed to die in the wilderness without seeing the land of Canaan, Nu 14:29. “Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, (Numbers 14:29 KJV).   The “destroyer” here is understood by many to mean the angel of death, so often referred to in the Old Testament, The simple idea here however is, that they died for their sin, and were not permitted to enter the Promised Land.

The judgments inflicted on them by God for their sins were for our examples. They were not designed to be types of us, but they are to be held up as furnishing an admonition to us, or a warning that we do not sin in the same way. The same God directs our affairs that ordered theirs; and if we sin as they did, we also must expect to be punished, and excluded from the favour of God, and from heaven. The sense is, not that these things took place simply and solely to be examples, or admonitions, but that their occurrence illustrated great principles of the human nature and of the Divine government; they showed the weakness of men, and their liability to fall into sin, and their need of the Divine protection, and they might thus be used for the admonition of succeeding generations; thus should flee from such sin. The admonition did not pertain merely to the Corinthians, but had an equal applicability to Christians in all ages of the world.

1.2      Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:9 NKJV).

 There are some Brethren who are always grumbling. They have a sour, dissatisfied, discontented temper; they see no excellence in other persons; they are displeased that others are more prospered, honoured, and beloved than they are themselves; they are always complaining of what others do, not because they are injured, but because others seem to them to be weak and foolish; they seem to feel that it becomes them to complain if everything is not done precisely as in their estimation it should be.

It is needless to say that this spirit–the offspring of pride–will make any man lead a wretched life; and equally needless to say that it is wholly contrary to the spirit of the gospel. See also Lu 3:14; Php 4:11 1Ti 6:8; Heb 13:5.

Grudge not one against another; the apostle here rebukes that murmuring and complaining spirit between brethren has its root in worldly lust and envy. The Judge, our Lord will punish all sin, and render to all their just reward.

1.3       Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. (Philippians 2:14-18 KJV).

The apostle exhorts them in these verses to adorn their Christian profession by a suitable temper and behaviour, in several instances. 1. By a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (Php 2:14): “Do all things, do your duty in every branch of it, without murmurings.  Do it, and do not find fault with it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it.”  God’s commands were given to be obeyed, not to be disputed.  2. By peacefulness and love one to another.  “Do all things without disputing, wrangling, and debating one another; because the light of truth and the life of religion are often lost in the heats and mists of disputation.”  3. By a blameless conversation towards all men (Php 2:15):  “That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke; that you be not injurious to any in word or deed, and give no just occasion of offence.”

We should endeavour not only to be harmless, but to be blameless; not to do hurt, but also not to come under the just suspicion of it. Blameless and sincere; that is Blameless before men, and sincere towards God. The sons of God.  It becomes those to be blameless and harmless who stand in such a relation, and are favoured with such a privilege. The children of God should differ from the sons of men. Without rebuke. Not finding fault with everybody and everything. We should aim and endeavour, not only to get to heaven, but to get thither without a blot; and, like Demetrius, to have a good report of all men, and of the truth, Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true”. (3 John 1:12 KJV)  In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; that is, among the heathens, and those who are without.  Observe, Where there is no true religion, little is to be expected but crookedness and perverseness; and the more crooked and perverse others are among whom we live, and the more apt to complain, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless and harmless. Among whom you shine as lights in the world.

Christ is the light of the world, and good Christians are lights in the world.  When God raises up a good man in any place, he sets up a light in that place. Mt. 5:16, Let your light so shine before men. Christians should endeavour not only to approve themselves to God, but to recommend themselves to others, that they may also glorify God.  They must shine as well as be sincere.–Holding forth the word of life, Php 2:16.  The gospel is called the word of life because it reveals and proposes to us eternal life through Jesus Christ. Life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel, 2 Tim. 1:10.

It is our duty not only to hold fast, but to hold forth the word of life; not only to hold it fast for our own benefit, but to hold it forth for the benefit of others, to hold it forth as the candlestick holds forth the candle, which makes it appear to advantage all around, or as the luminaries of the heavens, which shed their influence far and wide.  This Paul tells them would be his joy: “That I may rejoice in the day of Christ; not only rejoice in your steadfastness, but in your usefulness.” It is a great joy to ministers when they perceive that they have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain; and it will be their rejoicing in the day of Christ, when their converts will be their crown.

1.4       These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. (Jude 1:16 KJV) Character of evil men and seducers are further enlarged here: they are murmurers, complainers. Observe, a murmuring complaining temper, indulged and expressed, lays men under a very bad character; such are very weak at least, and for the most part very wicked. They murmur against God and his providence, against men and their conduct; they are angry at everything that happens, and never pleased with their own state and condition in the world. Such walks after their own lusts; their will, their appetite, their fancy, are their only rule and law


Most likely, murmuring will arise in a local congregation despite the preaching against it or effort to avoid it. What can be done then? This is the big question. The problem or challenge must be recognized and resolve to enable growth of the gospel as well as provide a harmonious living among the children of God. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (Acts 6:1 KJV)

A practical example is demonstrated in Acts 6. The Church Leaders did not wait to see how the conflict turned out or assume that the since the instigators of the problem were troublemakers, there was no point in listening to their complaint. They did not simply preach against murmuring or carry out their own solution without consulting the whole church. They dealt with the problem. Even so, disagreement ought to be dealt with today. Brethren should seek for better understanding or explanation of decisions taken by Leadership of the Church (they look at the bigger picture) instead of murmuring.


The impact of murmuring is on the soul and if not managed could destroy so many souls in a Congregation. Murmuring could as well as hinder the growth of the Church thus depriving several souls from being converted. The congregation where murmuring strives will not likely grow. Church Members are likely to be involved in inner struggles that they will have no time or energy left for preacher to outsiders. People who might otherwise be won to Christ will be turn way by a fussing, infighting membership.  Murmuring is a great sin that can destroy the Murmurers with resultant effect on the larger brethren that tends to listen to them.

Physically, it could be “eating them up” the person or group of persons thus resulting in poor health condition; could be getting thinner, lower immunity because all their thoughts are evil. If allowed to matured and yield its great tool of destruction; Hatred, strife, jealousy and malice sets in {Galatians 5:19-21}.  With this the Soul is damned!

The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus day were full of this trait so much so that all that Jesus taught and wonderful work done were treated with contempt. They hated Him to the point of crucifying Him on the Cross.

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