Isn’t it amazing how quickly our attitudes can change depending on our circumstances? We can go from feeling happy and blessed one moment, to feeling sad and depressed the next. Too often we allow our disappointing and difficult circumstances to cause us to forget all the blessings from God (Jam. 1:17) we have experienced along the way in our journey.
Take Israel as an example. Israel was coming off one of the most miraculous moments in their history. They were celebrating and praising God for victory over Pharaoh and his army as they escaped Egypt and crossed the Red Sea unharmed (Exo. 14:30-15:2; 11, 18). And that’s when it happened, that’s when it always happens.
22 “Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah.” And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” (Exodus 15:22-26)
The Israelites were wandering around the desert for three days without any water. If you have ever been really thirsty you can probably imagine how difficult this would have been. Without water, they would eventually die.
Finally, after three long days without water, they had a glimmer of hope. They came to Marah probably expecting another blessing, this time in the form of water being provided to them. Unfortunately, their hope was quickly defeated. When the people of Israel saw they were unable to drink the water, they started to complain. Oh, how quickly their attitude changed.
Have you ever felt like Israel probably felt at this moment in their history? Have you ever found yourself standing before water too bitter to drink? Standing in the midst of disappointing circumstances you really didn’t want to be in? It doesn’t matter who we are or even where we are in our lives, we have all experienced disappointing circumstances.
Like Israel, too often our response is to grumble and complain about the hand we have been dealt. And that’s when it happens. We get so focused on our disappointing circumstances we forget all God has done for us in the past. This is exactly what happened to Israel. Their forgetfulness led to a serious problem; a lack of faith and trust. You see, when we forget what God has done in the past, we will always fail to see what God can do in the future.
The problem for Israel was they had forgotten God was on their side. Because of Him they walked out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea unharmed. Israel just needed to trust God and be obedient to His commandments and promises even in the mist of their current disappointing circumstances.
What about you? What disappointing circumstances are you currently facing that have caused you to forget all God has done for you in the past? Whatever the circumstances are, may I encourage you to place your trust in God and reflect on all He has done for you?
It’s interesting to me, had Israel only been more patient and trusting, they would have seen God had already made provisions for them.
“Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.” (Exodus 15:27)
Elim was only a few miles away. Although they didn’t know what was going on, God did. He knew exactly what He was doing. Elim had twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. It was a place that would satisfy Israel’s need in a big way.
Friends, we all face our own Marah at some point. What’s important to remember is that if we will remain patient and trust God, He will lead us through Marah into the land of Elim; a place of great joy! After all, He is the great healer.
Now that’s Something to Think About!