"Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness: I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger." Isaiah 46:12-13
Text: Exodus 17 : 1-4
The children of Israel had failed the last few tests! That could well mean that they had not understood and learned the lessons that God meant them to learn. Another test was arranged for the children of Israel to see if they had learned anything from all that they had been through!
“Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out
on their journey from the wilderness of Sin, according to the
commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim;
but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore
the people contended with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water, that
we may drink.’ So Moses said to them, ‘Why do you contend
with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?'”
Another test! Another failure! The children of Israel once again griped about the problem of water supply. In fact this time round, the reaction of the children of Israel was even worse!
FROM COMPLAINING TO CONTENDING
Moses tried reasoning with them! He also urged them not to “tempt the LORD”! But these words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
“And the people thirsted there for water, and the people
complained against Moses, and said, ‘Why is it you have
brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children
and our livestock with thirst?’
So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying,
‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready
to stone me!'”
Not only had the people failed to learn anything from their last few experiences, they were growing more belligerent by the day! They were not asking for water to be supplied, they were demanding it! If they were not given the water they desired, they were prepared to put the blame on Moses and stone him for leading them into the wilderness! There was no reasoning with this hostile group of people!
HOW WOULD GOD MEET THE NEED FOR WATER SUPPLIES THIS TIME?
God healed the waters at Marah (Cf. Exodus 15:22-25). He led them to a natural oasis at Elim (Cf. Exodus 15:27). But there was no water in sight this time round! What would God do now? Moses had no answer to this problem. But what he did know was that he must take every matter to the Lord in prayer! This was exactly what he did. He was learning deep and vital lessons about leadership from the standpoint of being a servant of God! He knew he must ever seek to be prayerful at all times!