Now, at the Lord's command, the people of Israel left the Sihn desert, going by easy stages to Rephidim. But upon arrival, there was no water!
So once more the people growled and complained to Moses. "Give us water!" they wailed.
"Quiet!" Moses commanded. "Are you trying to test God's patience with you?"
But, tormented by thirst, they cried out, "Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here to die, with our children and cattle too?"
Then Moses pleaded with Jehovah. "What shall I do? For they are almost ready to stone me."
Then Jehovah said to Moses, "Take the elders of Israel with you and lead the people out to Mt. Horeb. I will meet you there at the rock. Strike it with your rod - the same one you struck the Nile with - and water will come pouring out, enough for everyone!" Moses did as he was told, and the water gushed out! Exodus 17: 1-6 (TLB)
Trust God completely; don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:5-6 (TLB)
Carol Macwan, from Gujarat, India, had applied for a professional course at her university, but her name wasn't on the first provisional list of candidates chosen. When she saw this, Carol became anxious and blamed herself for foolishly not applying to other universities. Finally when she felt there was no way, she would be accepted, Carol fasted and prayed. To her surprise, God heard her prayers on the very first day of her fast. She was selected in the second provisional list. Carol felt sheepish that she had been complaining for no reason. This was a miracle God was already about to perform!
The Israelites had a similar experience when God brought them to Rephidim. Instead of enjoying their new freedom, they complained about the lack of water. They started grumbling and complaining to Moses, rather than trusting that God who had led them out of Egypt would sustain them. As a result of the complaining, Moses named the place "testing" and "complaining." Maybe had they waited patiently and trusted God, they would still have enjoyed the miracle of water gushing from the rock at Horeb. Then the place could instead have been named "trusting" and "rejoicing." In difficult situations, instead of putting God to the test, we can trust that God will care for us.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to trust you always and forgive us when we are impatient, in Jesus' name. Amen.