{Word Study} Murmur “Yalan”


Exodus 17:3:  “But the people thirsted there for water and they murmured  against Moses and said: Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
Murmured: Hebrew: Yalan – to worry, grumble, complain, fret.
The people of Israel had just witnessed  some great miracles, the crossing of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, quail for meat, not to mention all the signs and wonders that led them out of Egypt.  Yet, as soon as their water supply began to dwindle, we learn that the people began to “murmur.”  The word for murmur in the Hebrew is “yalan.”   This means to worry, fret, complain etc.  The yod represents no foundation, irrational actions, the lamed shows narrow thinking, self-importance, and the nun shows lack of faith.
Why did the people not trust God for water?   Why did they “yalan” or worry?   The word itself explains.  First they had no foundation.  You would think they have plenty of foundation with all the miracles in the past.  All those miracles were  building blocks to a foundation, but they were not building a foundation with them.  As  the miracles came they shouted their Hallelujahs, and praises, but they had narrow thinking and self-importance.  They thought the miracles were just for them and that moment. We got it let’s move on to the next miracle.   Those miracles were not just for them, but for future generations and for us today to read and find comfort.  When they received manna from heaven they failed to ask God why He was providing in this way.  Had they done so they would have learned that getting fed was only one of the reasons.  A greater reason was to build their faith, to discover God’s lovingkindness, to declare to the world the mighty power of God. They were so self-absorbed that they failed to see the whole picture.  As a result they never allowed the miracles to build faith in them.   While chowing down on manna from heaven they worried if they were going to die of thirst.  Isn’t that crazy.  Almost as crazy as God miraculously providing a job for you and then you begin to worry over losing that job.  “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.”  said old Job.
God miraculously gives us a mouthful of manna and rather than reflect on His loving provision, like a spoiled child we pound our fist on the table complaining (yalan) over the fact that He has not yet given us something to wash it down with.
Eat the manna God has miraculously provided and  mediate on his loving provision. When the time comes that you need something to wash it down with, it will be there.  Beware of the sin of yalan if that glass of water does not appear when we expect it to appear.