We should be content with where God has put us in the body of Christ. And we should be content with where He has put us in life. Contentment with our placement in these two areas is very important, and is godly. It is the mark of a mature and growing Christian, who does “all things without murmuring and disputings” [Phil 2:14] and who has “learned, in whatsoever state [they are], therewith to be content.” [Phil 4:11].
And these are not concepts foreign to the Old Testament. We see that God expects His people to be content. Complaining and murmuring anger The LORD: our Father does not like these things. Read from the book of Numbers,
"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." [Num 14:27] "And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp." [Num 11:1]
But it is not just something He holds His children to. But the heathen are also held responsible for this, or at least, judgment is brought upon them for discontentment. In Zephaniah, Moab and Ammon are judged partly because they rose up against their defined borders, going outside of what God had given them in order to attack His people.
"I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the reviling of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. Therefore as I live, saith The LORD of Hosts, The God of Israel, surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of The LORD of Hosts." [Zeph 2:8-10]
Moab and Ammon “magnified themselves against their border,” that is, against the border between them and Israel. Because of this they are going to be judged and their lands will become “the breeding of nettles, and saltpits.” They were not content to stay where God had put them and they “magnified themselves against the people of The LORD of Hosts.” Because of that, their land will cease to have life.
Their land ceases to have life and becomes a place of thorns and saltpits: thorns choke out the plants, and saltwater pits prevent animal life, for there is no water to drink. We see the same concept in Ezekiel. In the Millennium, the places which are not being irrigated with God’s river of living water become salty and dead.
"And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh….But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt." [Ezek 47:9; 11]
And so we see, that Moab and Ammon are judged and cease to have life. They are given to thorns and salt. The main reason pointed out in Zephaniah, that they magnified themselves against their’s/Israel’s border. They messed with God’s people by trying to expand what God had given them. They were trying to expand into forbidden territory.
Now take this example from Moab and Ammon, and The LORD’s anger toward complaining/murmuring and apply it spiritually to us within the church. The Lord Jesus and The Father have placed us in specific spots in the body of Christ. We read this from Paul, who says,
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." [1 Cor 12:18]
And He says in Ephesians 4:15-16 that the body of Christ is “fitly joined together” by God.
Our positions in the body of Christ, the specific measure/amount of grace given to us has been prescribed by God Himself. And we should not think beyond this grace. We should not attempt to magnify ourselves against this border. Romans says,
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." [Rom 12:3]
And perfect love, “doth not behave itself unseemly…” [1 Cor 13:5]
So let us proclaim along with the Psalmist,
"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." [Psa 16:6]
Truly, God has placed us in a perfect spot within the body, and within life itself. The borders of our inheritance, as it were, are good and pleasant. We should not seek to exalt ourselves beyond it, and we should not complain about it. Instead, let us be thankful to Jesus and serve His body faithfully with what He has given us.