In Exodus 15, the Israelites are celebrating the victory over the Egyptian army as God had shown up miraculously. But their praise was short lived as we next learn the Israelites then traveled for three days without finding water. When they finally found water at Marah, it was too bitter to drink. They complained and turned against Moses. In their lack, the Israelites forgot who God was, doubting His goodness and provision for them that quickly.
Perhaps the bitter water was a reflection of their own hearts. Just as water had the potential to quench their thirst but was overcome with bitterness rendering it unable to fulfill its purpose, the Israelites had a purpose they were unable to complete in their current state. We cannot point others to the glory of God when we are fueling from a place of entitlement and scarcity.
The Israelites had just witnessed God lead them out of Egypt with their hands full and they were actually there in person for the miraculous parting of the Red Sea. I would like to think after witnessing something so spectacular my faith would not turn to doubt so quickly but I have been guilty of this very thing. I have uttered the metaphoric words to God, “Lord, did you bring me here only to die of thirst?”
This tends to be our human response in times of lack. We receive the goodness of God, praising Him one day, only to turn and doubt the first time we are met with lack or receive less than we expected. We tend to react out of a scarcity mindset, doubting God’s goodness in those seasons.
Ephesians 3:20 tells us He is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. In other words, God is capable of going above and beyond what we can even think to ask for or imagine in our human capacity. His power goes beyond the limitations of our human brain. The beautiful part is He will do these things through His power IN US. He allows us to be part of process. I just love reflecting on that and this has become one of my favorite verses as I see it played out not only in my life but also in the lives of those around me over and over again. I call those E320 moments. We find ourselves saying, “Well I didn’t see that coming”, but God did!
We may never see God split an ocean but we will see Him make a way where there seems to be no way. It’s His specialty. It’s why He is God and we are not.
When reading Exodus 15 I am blown away by the information we receive in verse 27. “After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the Oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water.”
Do you see it? While they were complaining and focused on what they were lacking, the Israelites were right around the corner from twelve springs!! He planned for them to camp by the water. God knew where He was leading the Israelites but they could not see it. How often do we do the same? We complain in a season of scarcity when God is leading us to all we need… and more!
My favorite part about this story is not the irony, however, but rather the gentleness of God. Instead of shaming them for their lack of trust, He provides a way through Moses to change the water into drinkable form, meeting their needs on the spot.
We can rest assured while we are walking through our own seasons of lack, God will provide all that we need. When we ask Him satisfy a basic need, God wants to provide so much more. He doesn’t just want to provide a drink, He wants us to camp beside the water, having our needs met through Him. As we walk through the unknown, will we grumble and focus on what we lack or will we trust that God is leading us to something far greater than we can imagine, an Oasis of Him?
Lord, let us use this story to deepen our trust in you knowing you will provide for our needs and what you desire for us is above and beyond anything we could ask or imagine. May we follow you along the path you have outlined for each of us, removing all bitterness along the way.
Feature Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash
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Stand up, shake off the dust, straighten your crown, and walk forward confidently grounded in truth.