How Soon We Forget
And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured (complained) against Moses, and said, Wherefore (why) is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto (with) this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest (struck) the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite (strike) the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Exodus 17:3-6
It does not take long for us to forget the goodness of God, and it only takes a trial or two before we start complaining and asking where God is. The children of Israel were fed with manna from Heaven for forty years, but when they faced a trial where they had no water, things seemed dire. We have two options when faced with a dilemma, either turning to our flesh or walking in the Spirit. We can either cry out to our God or we can cry out against Him. He wants to hear requests from His children, not complaints.
I have always compounded problems in my life when I chose to complain to anybody and everybody about everybody and everything. I did not pray and ask God to show me what He was trying to teach me, and I did not ask Him for help. I was not reading my Bible and I was void of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I did not react to the trials as I should have and I failed to learn what God had for me. I forgot about all of His goodness and care for me, and I only focused on my problems and my situation.
The children of Israel had seen God work when they experienced firsthand the parting of the Red Sea. They had seen how God provided for them in the wilderness, and they saw God lead them from Egypt by a pillar of fire in the night and a cloud by day. There should have been no doubt that God favored them, and no doubt in their mind that God was able to provide all of their needs.
We often look down on the children of Israel, but we can be the same way. We live in abundance and we have access to the whole Bible, and we know of all the great things God has done. We have read about the coming of the Messiah, and we have been given the greatest gift mankind could ever receive. When things get tough, we forget about the things God has done, and we only seek to complain our way out of a problem instead of pray through a problem. We cave into our flesh and allow our problems to grow bigger and God to get smaller in our eyes. We forget all that God has done, and we act as if we have no hope.
In these verses, there is represented a right response and wrong response. The children of Israel chose to murmur against the leader God had given them, and even accused Moses of leading them to their own death. Moses chose to cry unto the LORD and asked what he should do as the children of Israel were so upset with him that they were close to stoning him. Moses did not complain about the children of Israel, but He cried unto God for help. When we do things God’s way, He is able to do things and provide for us in ways that we could not ever imagine. God told Moses to strike a rock to provide water for His people. I am sure there was a look of shock when water came out of the rock, but God is able to do the impossible, even when it means that water can come forth out of a rock. Matthew 19:26 states, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
How are you reacting to the trials God has allowed in your life? Are you crying out to Him for help and guidance or are you complaining about the trial? Do people around you only know how big your problems are, or do they know how big your God is? Do you believe God is able to draw water out of a rock? Are you so focused on your problems that you have lost sight of a God who seeks to change you through the trial? May we cry out to our God in all things, and may we never cry out against Him.
Stay in the fight!