The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
The background story to these seven verses is part of God’s redemptive plan to rescue and redeem His chosen nation – Israel and eventually all of humanity. Through various miracles, God revealed Himself not only to Pharaoh but also to the Israelites. The Israelites also witnessed how God parted the Red sea so that they could victoriously move towards the Promised land that was promised to Abraham. And yet, despite all the miracles God displayed, to show the world and Israel how much God loves them, the nation of Israel when they faced a challenge in the desert, still accused God by saying ‘Is the Lord among us or against us?’
How accurately does this scenario also ring true to us today? God has shown time and time again in our own lives how faithful He is and that He will never leave us, but as soon as the first hurdle of challenges occurs, we tend to ask ‘Does God hear me?’ or ‘Does God care? Or ‘Does God love me?’ ‘Is He for me or against me?’ Be encouraged by this story in Exodus. God never leaves us; He never forgets us. He is always with us. He is our Rock and Foundation.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Stop and ask God to place a nation on your mind and heart. Pray for the people to be blessed by God, the church to shine brightly and for God to be present in that place.