Exodus 17:1 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” 3 But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
The Israelites were thirsty. Not just a little parched, but REALLY thirsty. They’d been walking in the desert wilderness over great distances with no water. Sometimes I get it in my head these people were just whiners, and perhaps that is sometimes true, but it’s very hard to go without water. Especially in a desert. It would be VERY difficult to watch children and those weakened by illness and the elderly cry out because they are thirsty. Eventually Moses had to take it up with the Lord who finally gave them water. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.
God is ever faithful in providing for the Israelites, but they are often desperate before God provides.
You know where this is going, right? God’s pattern of provision with Israel is often his pattern in providing for you and me, whatever sort of provision we might be seeking. I don’t like it, but part of the life of faith is waiting on the Lord to act. What are you waiting for? Direction? Healing? Finances? Love? Something else?
Lord, waiting is one of the most difficult things we do in this life, especially when we’re anxious or even desperate. Give us grace to trust in you for whatever needs we bring this morning. Thank you in advance for your faithfulness. Amen.