The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarrelled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?”
Exodus 17:2, NIV*
God had already given them a daily supply of manna in the desert. Now He patiently—and miraculously—provided water from a rock.
And he called the place Massah [testing] and Meribah [quarrelling] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?
Exodus 17:7, NIV*
The Israelites knew, better than we often do, that if God is present He can help. And they weren’t subject to our common fear that we’ve already asked too much and used up His gifts for us.
I think they feared abandonment. “If trouble hits, does that mean He left us?”
They knew they had nothing in themselves to convince Him to stay. They didn’t think about His character that keeps Him faithful to His commitments. Of His covenant that they would be His people and He would be their God.
We often need to be reminded of the same thing. As we persist in prayer, the proper attitude is not to nag for answers but to pray continually in thanksgiving and confidence, and keep alert to recognize the answers… especially if they come in small stages.
Father God, help me remember that You’re leading me. Help me trust Your character and Your promises and rely on You. Whatever my needs, I have Jesus. All I have to do is ask for help and be alert to recognize the answer. I understand it may well not come in the form I’d like, but I pray with confidence in Your perfect wisdom and timing.
Here’s Robin Mark singing Brian Doerksen’s “Faithful One.”
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
So true, Janet. I’m constantly forgetting (why???) that it’s the prayer of faith that is effective. When I whine and nag I’m not trusting. And trusting is the whole point. Not just to get answers, but to be in right relationship with Him. I think I’ve developed a habit of whining. At least it seems like I’m not enjoying the peace that true trust gives. Need to work on this one.
Ginny, I think we all circle around to this spot more often than we’d like. I just read a blog post this week at The High Calling: Bradley J. Moore’s Accounting for Joy. The context is the workplace, but I think it applies everywhere.
Trusting is indeed the whole point! Trusting in love of this God who is so wonderful. Ann Voskamp’s book, 1,000 Gifts, made a huge difference for me in this (not that I don’t still get in the circle trap!)
How I thank Him for His faithfulness…and for your faithfulness to remind us of the greatness of our God. (((hugs)))
Hugs back to you, my friend! You’re good for me.
I was looking for some aspect of God to direct my worship today. The other day it was His holiness, thanks to Ginny’s comment on another post. Today–I just learned in reading your comment here–it’s His faithfulness. Something peaceful just settled in my spirit.