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Murmuring is a Cancer

Exodus 16:7-8; Numbers 14:27,36 and 16:11; Philippians 2:14

When we think of the word "murmur" we always get visions of Israel in the wilderness complaining to Moses about the maltreatment they received at the hand of God.

Their complaining was so severe they were willing to give up all that God had done for them and return to the very slavery they were not so many months earlier, crying out to God to deliver them from.

So the God that lives, who created the universe and all that is in it

  • Has stopped long enough to pay you attention

  • Has built an entire nation through the seed of Abraham down through Jacob

  • Has worked in the life of a man called Moses, for eighty years

  • Has worked miracles to prove he is THE LIVING GOD

  • Has Killed many of their oppressors

  • Has moved upon a nation and it's king to release them from bondage


Where did Israel have any right? What had they done to deserve anything other than condemnation?

In Deuteronomy 7:7-9 God instructed Israel that he did not choose them or give them the land and all its blessings because of them, but because he loved them and he was keeping the covenant he made with their forefathers.

They did not have the right to complain.

They only had the right to praise God for his mercy and grace,

Because God loved them so much, in spite of everything they had done wrong!

All Israel did for forty years was Complain! Complain! Complain!

In Exodus 16:7 Moses an Aaron tells Israel that "He (God) hears your murmuring (complaints)".

Israel had only been gone from Egypt for a month and a half by this time.

They had run out of food and were complaining that it would have been better they died at the hand of the Lord in Egypt while they were eating from the pots of meat and bread, than to be taken into the wilderness to die of hunger.

Really!? You would rather be dead than allow the LIVING GOD to provide for you?! Really?!

They complained about no water (Exodus 15:22-27).

And now they are complaining about no food (Exodus 16:2-3).

Complaining! Complaining! Complaining!

When the Bible uses the word "murmur" or "murmuring" it means - to complain.

Murmur is the Hebrew word rä·gan' which means to grumble, complain, backbite.

The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) is a very good tool we can use to help clarify words in the Hebrew. We can compare words in the Old Testament Hebrew to the same word in the Greek Septuagint and follow that up with these same words in the Greek New Testament. A good example of this is the word "murmur".

In the Septuagint the word used in these verses for murmur is gon-gü'-zō, which means the same thing as the Hebrew word rä·gan': to grumble or complain.

When you look in John 6:43 and 1Corinthians 10:10, you see how these comparisons work.

John 6:46 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.

1Corinthians 10:10 . . .nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

But the Greek word "gonguzo" also has another meaning from that of the Hebrew word "ragan", which is canker. The same word murmur in the Old Testament is used as canker in the New Testament.

2Timothy 2:17 "And their word will eat as doth a canker. . ." [KJV]

This is where we get our English word "cancer," its root being the Greek word "ganguzo".

The Greeks took the their root word qar-tu- meaning "hard, strong," and combined it with the another Greek word karkinos also meaning hard but like a crab, to form the word "ganguzo" which literally means "hard sores"; and started using this new word to mean murmur, grumbling, complaining.

The Latin word for "spreading ulcer" was "can-ker" spelled cancer. The English picked up on this and started using canker for the same meaning - spreading ulcer or sores, thus the Old English word "canker".

In more modern years the Old English word was changed to the Latin spelling of "cancer."

In more modern translations 2Timothy 2:17 reads

"And their word will eat as doth a gangrene. . ."

The New King James Version translates canker as "cancer".

Proverbs 18:8 and 26:22

"The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

Talebearer is the same Hebrew word "ragan" meaning murmurer, grumbler, complainer.

God had Solomon write that the words of a complainer, a murmurer, are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

The word murmur is a grandparent word to our word cancer.

I tell you this - Our complaining can be directly related to sickness in our bodies!

We are admonished to not be a complainer (murmur):

John 6:46 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.

1Corinthians 10:10 . . .nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

We are told to do all things without complaining or disputing in Philippians 2:14.

Your complaining and disputing can be cancerous to everyone and everything.

Complaining and cancer comes from the same root words.

We have these admonitions to not complain, yet complaining and arguing seems to be what Christians do the most.

As a pastor and minister for more than forty five years, I have spent more time dealing with Christian's complaints than I have enjoyed discussing the good things of the Word with Christians.

It is very important that we do not allow ourselves to be caught up in the epidemic that exist in most free societies, to complain or argue. In America this epidemic is so bad, making complaints is the accepted rule.

In the business world filing a report is referred to as "making a complaint".

Faith and Complaining are Attitudes.

Your attitude will determine if you are person of faith or a person that complains.

What you think will determine if you are a person of faith or a person that complains.

Attitude is your response according to the way you think.

If you treat people rudely; you are always snapping at people; or you never speak nicely to anyone, it could be said that you have a bad attitude.

If you are kind, loving, helpful, and compassionate you are considered to have a good attitude.

What is different from a bad attitude and a good attitude: The way you think about things.

We must keep our attitudes and opinions in check because what we think shows our attitude!

Your Faith is an attitude.

Your murmuring is an attitude.

An Attitude of Faith.

How you believe and trust God is an attitude of acceptance toward God.

You learn to trust God as you are exposed to more of the things of God.

The more you come to know about the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the more you receive the things of God. This is growing in the revelation and knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17).

This type attitude toward God should have originated from a humble attitude that realizes you had a need and God was the one who could meet that need. Your humble attitude called out to God and he answered your need.

You realized your sin could only be taken care of through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

You accepted that sacrifice and asked Jesus to save you.

This attitude is one of humble need, shame and sorrow.

The Holy Spirit replaces the shame and sorrow with joy and overwhelming happiness as you realize you are truly saved.

At this point you are ready to start learning how to be his disciple.

The more you learn the more you understand how little you do know.

Your attitude remains humble because you start understanding how much you have to depend upon God for everything.

Sickness attacks your body and sorrow sweeps in again, combined with fear.

Humbly you cry out to God for healing.

Words of healing are spoken over you and you continue speaking the Word toward the sickness.

You stand in faith, believing and at some given moment you realize you are healed of the sickness, it is gone!

Now the sorrow and fear is replaced with Praise and Rejoicing because of His mercy and grace to allow his power to work through your faith and the faith of those who have ministered to you.

This faith is an attitude. This is an attitude of grateful love and humble thanksgiving filled with Praise and adoration to the Lord who has set you free and given you a body that is well and not sick!

An Attitude of Murmur.

It starts with believing God and trusting him, but with an attitude of complaining.

As you are exposed to more of the things of God you see opportunity to have the things you want in life. You see that God is a provider for those who will trust in him, so you start professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You call upon him for salvation and start following Jesus as a disciple.

The more revelation you are exposed to through preaching and things you read in the Word, the more you desire the things of God in your life because you can have more opportunity for the things YOU want, never asking the Lord what he wants.

Then your body is attacked with sickness and wanting to be well and not sick, you expect to see healing as you stand in faith that by His strips You are healed.

You go forward at church and people pray over you for healing.

You may even feel the move of the Holy Spirit testifying to you that by faith you are healed.

The entire time you are complaining about different people and different things that are not the way you want them to be.

Instead of walking in faith with joy and peace, you are always experiencing anger and confusion.

Because you are angry you do not allow the fruit of the Spirit to come out of you which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And healing does not come. You feel a little bit better, but you are not well yet!

You think, "Why am I not receiving my healing?

I am standing in faith.

I am going to church.

I am learning about the thing of God.

I am free in Jesus Christ.

Why am I not receiving my healing yet!?

At this point, You might even be a little envious of those you know who are being healed.

Then you ask God, "Lord, why am I not healed yet?"

Watch it with that word "WHY". It could be a complaint.

Why could be complaining, but What is usually inquiring.

Why am I not healed yet? Why is this happening to me? . . .Complaining.

What do you want me to do Lord? What is it you need Lord Jesus? . . .Accepting

But I am crying out to the Lord for his mercy and grace!

I am trusting him for healing and I am staying sick!

Why, Lord, why?!

Watch out, you are becoming a complainer!

We have all been there. We have all made our complaints, but we must learn how to change the complaint into a request, what the Bible calls a supplication.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

If you continue to think you deserve your healing. . .this could be why you are still sick.

Everything that has been said to this point should not be condemnation to you who are dealing with sickness. I am not trying to say you are a murmurer because you are still sick. I am saying a person could still be sick because they are a murmurer. . . There is a difference. . It is humility.

2Chronicles 7:14 "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."


Faith is an Attitude!

Faith is not some great spiritual action you can do so you can move the universe in your favor!

Faith is an attitude you have toward God.

Attitude is the way you think and respond to something.

Faith is the way you think and respond to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son!

"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves. . .and turn from their wicked ways"

This is an attitude that you have toward God.

Why do we have the Bible?

We have to Bible so we can receive revelation about who God is!

Why do we study the Bible?

We study the Bible so we can learn what we are supposed to do about the revelation we learn of God, and how we are to have relationship with the only true living God.

Whether you Do anything about this information is up to you!

How you Do anything about this information is your ATTITUDE toward that information.

The Heavens is not going to open up and all the universe come into union for your purposes once you accept Jesus as your personal Savior!

BUT what will happen as you humbly approach the revelation of God through his Word:

  • You will start experiencing the joy and utmost freedom Jesus gives you in your being.

  • You will start to understand that nothing can stop you from doing and being anything that God has called you to be.

  • You will begin to see the power of God flowing in you and through you, as you continue to receive and not reject, the things you are exposed to through the Word, the preaching, the Holy Spirit guiding you in all truth.

  • The more you receive the more you grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

A Healing Attitude Luke 8:43-48

This woman approached her sickness with an attitude of acceptance not an attitude of complaining.

After spending all of her livelihood, she had nothing helping her for twelve long years.

Instead of complaining, She turned to Jesus with an attitude of accepting who he was.

She believed Jesus could heal her, but she knew she did not deserve it.

Her humility would not allow her to approach Jesus in any other way but in a quiet, unannounced, acceptance of who he was. She approached him with an attitude of faith.

This woman understood the Law and what was demanded upon a woman in her condition (Lev. 15:25).

Under the law any woman in her minstrel cycle is unclean during her time for seven days.

BUT any woman that is enduring a cycle that goes past her normal time is considered unclean until the cycle or abnormality is healed. During this time anything she touched was consider unclean. If anyone touched anything she touched, they too were unclean. Being unclean, you were not allowed to be in the public, and surely you were not allow to go into the tabernacle or temple.

She had been enduring this for twelve years.

After hearing about Jesus she had faith she could be healed.

But how was she going to approach him.

She was not allowed to be in the public. To defy this, she could be severely punished.

How was she going to be in a public place and approach Jesus who was her only hope.

She was unclean and anyone touching her would be unclean.

She did not have the right do anything about her condition.

If she was to approach Jesus openly and he was to touch her, Jesus would be considered unclean.

I'm sure she thought, "I don't deserve to approach Jesus openly because I am unclean, but "If I could only touch the helm of his garment" he would not know what I was doing and no one would consider him to be unclean.

So she went against the Law; risking her life; not deserve the opportunity; still went to see Jesus.

She was in a large crowd of people. . .and was not supposed to be there at all.

So she manages to push her way through to Jesus,

Probably staying low in the crowd with her head covered, so as to not be seen or noticed.

And then as she reached for Jesus' garment, it happened. . . She touched him!!

At that moment. . .Swishhhh!. . . Jesus felt his anointing going out of him.

Jesus stopped and asked, "Who touched me?"

Can you imagine the strangeness of this question?

"Who touched Me? Really? In the a throng of people? Even the disciples asked him the same thing.

The anointing is: God's power on you to generate His giftings in you.

Jesus is the Son of God, come to this earth to fulfill the will of the Father and testify for the Father, the revelations of who God is, before he became the only sacrifice that God will accept to pay for all sin, and rise to overcome sin and death.

This is the anointing that went out of Jesus and into this woman!

This is what she felt as Jesus said, "Who touched me?"

Just like everyone at school moves back in a crowd when the Principal as asked, "OK, who is responsible?" This woman is now in the open and everyone is looking at her.

Trembling and afraid she speaks up, "I did Lord! and now I am made whole Lord!"

She explained her reason for wanting to touch him, and in faith said she was healed.

Jesus said, ". . Your faith has made you well, go in peace."

But before Jesus spoke a word the woman had already been healed due to her attitude.

She did not deserve anything that happened to her because she was unclean. . .totally undeserving.

Everyone must Get This!

Before Jesus says a word. . . you are healed. . .by the attitude you believe in Jesus Christ!

If you come to him with the attitude that you know you don't deserve God's grace. . .the Lord will heal you. . .If you come hoping, "if I could only touched him". . . Swishhhh!. . .you will be healed.

As you are here listening right now, you are being touched by him.

The same anointing that Jesus had in his body is here in the being of the Holy Spirit. . .Swishhhh!. . .

The same anointing that was in Jesus Christ is here in the power of the spoken word . . Swishhhh!. . .

The same anointing that was on Jesus Christ has moved upon those who move in their callings and gifts

. . .Swishhhh!. . .You ARE HEALED!!!


If you cry out to Jesus like the ten lepers did in Luke 17:11-19. . .

They all ten cried out for mercy. . But only one turned to showed thanksgiving. . .

Only one understood they did not deserve to be healed, and with a loud voice glorified God.

He was a Samaritan. . .the others were most likely Jews because they felt they deserved it.

This is an attitude of Murmuring, "I deserve it, give it to me."

Only One Healed in the Crowd

Have you ever thought about the fact that the woman who touched Jesus' garment was the only person in the crowd that was healed?

With all the people that was there, and the Bible referred to the crowd as a throng.

How big is a throng? Obviously it was larger than a crowd.

But with all the people that was there, only this woman was healed by the touch of Jesus.

And she was healed before Jesus said anything.

Everyone there that was touching Jesus in the throng, should have glorified God that they had healed.

How to change from an Attitude of Murmuring to an Attitude Acceptance?

  • First you have to have a humble heart. You really do not deserve it.

  • Next you have to repent of your cancerous attitude.

  • Finally you have to let the Holy Spirit do his work in you.

Accept who Jesus is and allow the Word of God to work in you as you receive revelation.

The more you receive the more revelation God gives you.

Seek the Lord that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened so you may grow in the revelation and knowledge of him.

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