I was reading Exodus 17:1-7 today. In it the Israelites are grumbling and complaining because they have no water. They quarrel with Moses and accuse him of bringing them into the wilderness to die. So Moses talks to God and God does a miracle by having Moses hit a stone with his staff and water came out of it. It says that the Israelites tested God by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
I am guilty of doing the exact same thing they are.
God redeemed them and brought them out of Israel powerfully, and did many mighty signs among them. He made a covenant with them, saying they were his people and he was their God. And yet, despite all the miracles and the covenant and hearing God’s voice, they still grumbled and doubted, convinced that God was going to abandon them, do them evil, not provide for them or take care of them, and allow them to die in the desert.
I do the exact same thing.
God saved me powerfully. He did many mighty signs in my life, and he has ALWAYS taken care of me. Yet I STILL fall into grumbling, doubt, and anger, believing that he has abandoned me, that he doesn’t care for me, that he WON’T actually work out the situations in my life for good, despite his promise to, that he WON’T deliver me.
After all that God had done for the Israelites, the many miraculous signs, the challenge “Is the Lord among us or not?” is fairly unbelievable. But I’m guilty of asking the same kind of questions. “God, are you really there? Do you really care about me? Are you really working things out in my life, or am I just the victim of random chance and circumstance?”
It’s legitimate to wonder those things sometimes. But I am often guilty of believing them and becoming angry at God, functionally living as though I am not his child.
It should be noted that the Israelites WERE out of water at that point in time. There was no doubt about that! But they had seen God provide for them miraculously time and again. They should have believed that he would do it again. They should have waited patiently. They should have asked him. Instead of grumbling and getting angry and becoming despairing and unbelieving, they should have trusted that God would deliver them. In fact, he still did, despite their unbelief and stinky attitude!
God, help me to not be like that. Help me to believe that whatever my current circumstances, your promise in Romans 8:28 that you make all things work together for the good of those who love God, is TRUE and it WILL happen. No matter how bad or how depressing or discouraging my circumstances may happen to be, help me to trust that you will bring water out of a rock. In Jesus’ name, amen.
"They should have believed that he would do it again. They should have waited patiently. They should have asked him."
Thank you so much for this post. Believe. Wait. Ask. I needed that.
I found your blog through a comment that you posted on The Good Women Project. I greatly appreciated your grace-filled response to that post on modesty. I read the post with apprehension that I couldn't quite explain until I read your response. Thank you for courageously responding in truth and love.
A fellow sister in Christ,