Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea…. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter…. So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
Exodus 15: 22-24, NIV*
The Israelites were jubilant at what God had done: deliverance from Egyptian slavery, parting the Red Sea to rescue them (neatly eliminating their enemies). They believed He could fulfill the rest of His promise and bring them into the promised land.
After a string of miracles and evidences of His great power, it’s understandable that they’d expect Him to melt all remaining opposition and obstacles in their way.
Then right away they have three waterless days in the desert, only to find water they can’t drink. No wonder they complain!
Moses, on the other hand, is used to setbacks, from his dealings with Pharaoh. He cries out to God.
The people know God can help, but they don’t ask. They expect, and then protest when He doesn’t operate the way they want.
Don’t we do the same?
Father God, mighty to save and wise to teach, You could give us smooth paths. But we seem to learn better when we experience Your help in the rough places. Help us to trust Your leading and to listen, obey, and learn to do life Your way. Help us to be grateful for Your presence.