Have you been in what might feel like an impossible situation lately? I know so many people have.
In Genesis, we read about Moses and God’s people. One of the greatest famines to ever hit the earth was happening and would continue for a few more years. Jacob’s family had moved to Goshen as a group of fewer than 100 people. They came at the urging of his son Joseph and as a gift from Pharaoh while Joseph was second in command of all of Egypt. When they first arrived in the land of Goshen, to them it felt like entering into the Promised Land. The world was suffering and they were moving into Pharaoh’s best land. They knew this was deliverance—a gift from God. They grew from fewer than 100 people to over one million people over the next four hundred years. As Pharaohs changed, so did their conditions. They became despised, hated, and slaves of Pharaoh.
In Exodus we see how God delivered them by the hand of Moses. They saw one supernatural event after another. They saw God lead them away from Pharaoh—guiding them by cloud and a pillar of fire. They saw the Red Sea part for them to pass through, then close back again to swallow up Pharaoh’s pursuing army. They saw God supernaturally protect them and provide for them bringing manna from Heaven. Yet through all this, it was one complaint after another. Too many of them really didn’t care about God. They just cared about their daily living conditions. They wanted God to be their genie.
Again we hear about their continuous complaints in Exodus 17:1-7. “At the Lord’s command, the people of Israel left the Sin Desert and moved from place to place. Eventually they came to Rephidim, but there was no water to be found there. So once more the people grumbled and complained to Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you arguing with me? And why are you testing the Lord?” But tormented by thirst, they continued to complain, “Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here? We, our children, and our livestock will all die!” Complaining, blaming either God or those that represent God, and attacking those around them is what people do when they are under pressure and have no faith in God.
The verses continue: “Then Moses pleaded with the Lord, “What should I do with these people? They are about to stone me!” The Lord said to Moses, “Take your shepherd’s staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile. Then call some of the leaders of Israel and walk on ahead of the people. I will meet you by the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come pouring out. Then the people will be able to drink.” Moses did just as he was told; and as the leaders looked on, water gushed out. Moses named the place Massah—”the place of testing”—and Meribah—”the place of arguing”—because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord going to take care of us or not?”
How could these people have approached God and Moses? They could have remembered everything God had done for them and their forefathers. They could have come in an attitude of worship and said, “Moses, we know you are led by God and that God is with us. He has revealed Himself and His love to us over and over again. We have come to worship Him and thank Him with you. We would rather die in this desert thirsty in praise of Him than under the evil hand of Pharaoh. Please lead us in worship and thanks.” If that had happened, not only would they have seen God’s provision, but also Moses would not have named the place for testing and arguing.
At church, our congregation is gathering three times a day to do exactly this—to worship and thank God for His love through Jesus Christ, and His love and deliverance for us all.
Psalm 95:6-9 “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.”
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2010 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.