25th Sunday Ordinary Time – “grumble, grumble, grumble…”
OK, we’ve established that the owner of the vineyard was unfair. What’s the most basic response to that? Grumble, carp, gripe, groan, fuss, whine, complain, quibble, and [fill in the blank]. I could add gossip & resent. Yeah, I’ll do that.
Now, let’s take a step back to look at that word in Greek, “to grumble” – gogguzo, pronounced, “gone-gud-zo” Onomatopoetic. So, the way it’s used in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, looks like this. There’s not so good news and a tad bit of good news. It connects complaining with rebelling, disobeying, and howling like dogs!!! And God doesn’t cotton to their complaining, looks like.
Matthew seems to equate the complaining of the workers with that of Peter in chapter 19 – “We have left everything and followed you! [what do we get out of it]?”
More about chapter 19 tomorrow!
Exodus 17:3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
Numbers 11:1 Now when the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, the Lord heard it and his anger was kindled. Then the fire of the Lord burned against them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.
Numbers 14:27–29 How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me. 28 Say to them, “As I live,” says the Lord, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 your dead bodies shall fall in this very wilderness; and of all your number, included in the census, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against me,
Numbers 16:41 On the next day, however, the whole congregation of the Israelites rebelled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.”
Psalm 59:12–15 For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride. For the cursing and lies that they utter, consume them in wrath; consume them until they are no more. Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. Selah Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. They roam about for food, and growl if they do not get their fill.
Psalm 106:23–25 Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. They grumbled in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
Good news below.
Isaiah 29:24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.