The Expository Files


Is it Right to Complain to God?

Psalm 77

In the 77th Psalm we read in verse 1 "I will cry unto God with my voice." And in verse 3 "I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed." And then verse 7 "Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?"

What a "Gloomy Gus"!

Seriously though, where is the joy that faith and serving God is supposed to bring? What right does this person have to complain to God? Is there ever a circumstance where it is right to bring a complaint to God?

First, we need to notice that the Psalmist was crying out in behalf of Israel, his nation. It had suffered much due to a lack of faith and obedience among the people. But now things seemed to be turning around. Would God ever favor the nation again? The Psalmist does indeed feel great distress and at this moment sees only the dark side of things. Was he right or wrong?

Well, probably most of the complaining done today is wrong. Throughout the pages of the Bible we find many cases where God becomes angry with the complainers and murmerers and grumblers (Num. 11:1; 14:26-29 for examples). Many believe that their lot in life is unfair - and focus on that rather than the mercy, hope and blessings of God. Also, there is the fact that we did not receive from God's hand what we really deserve. It was once asked, "If Thou, Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities, who could stand?"(see Psalm 130:3).

If, on the other hand, we are speaking our minds and hearts to God, expressing our needs as well as our confidence in Him and our willingness to be faithful whatever the circumstance, then such is needed. Always trusting and being satisfied with His final decision - knowing that God wants the best for us eternally. The Psalmist recalls God's deeds and affirms his confidence in God:

11 I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.

Psalm 77:11-15


By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 14.11; November 2007