#DailyDevotion What Do You Do When There Is Trouble?
Exodus 17 Breaking camp as the LORD directed them, the whole congregation of Israel left the desert of Sin and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they said. “Why quarrel with me? Moses asked them. “Why test the LORD?” 3So there the people were thirsty for water, and they grumbled against Moses. “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt?” they asked. “To have us, our children, and our livestock die of thirst?” 4Moses cried to the LORD. “What should I do with these people?” he asked. “They’re almost stoning me.” 5“Go ahead of the people,” the LORD told Moses. “Take with you some of the elders of Israel, take in your hand the rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will flow from it, and the people will drink.” Moses did this while the elders of Israel watched him. 7He called that place Massah [Testing] and Meribah [Quarrel] because Israel quarreled there and tested the LORD, asking, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
On the one hand you can hardly blame the Israelites. They were led to camp at a place that had no water. On the other hand when they recognized a need, what did they do? The grumbled, complained and quarreled with Moses. Moses identifies their problem, they were quarreling with Moses and they were testing the LORD.
These people had seen the wonders the LORD performed in Egypt. They saw the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night hold off the Egyptian army. They saw the Red Sea parted and they walked through the walls of the water on dry ground. Yet they did not trust the LORD was with them. In their need, they didn’t turn to the LORD. They 1. didn’t trust the LORD was going to take care of them in their need and 2. they didn’t turn to the LORD for help. No, they grumbled and complained against Moses and against God.
So what about you? What do you do when you have a need? What do you do when there’s something you don’t like at Church? When things are crazy in your life what is your response to it. Well you could do what the Israelites did, go to the wrong person, grumble and complain. You could test the LORD and not rely upon the LORD to know your need and to take care of you. You could take matters into your own hands and do whatever it takes to fix the problem. Generally what you, on your own, will be according to your own selfish, self-centered notions and you will probably make more trouble than if you just left it alone.
But what should you do? What should the Israelites have done? First, trust the LORD is with you always. Didn’t he promise us at the end of Matthew, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”? The LORD Jesus Christ never leaves us or forsakes us. Second, believe your Father in heaven knows what you need even before you ask him. (Matt. 6:8, 6:32) Thirdly, open your mouth and ask the LORD your God, your heavenly Father for what you need. Jesus directly in Matt. 6:9 to say the Lord’s Prayer. Then trust your Father in heaven will do for you what is needed for Jesus’ sake.
Almighty God, merciful Father, give us your Holy Spirit that we may not doubt your presence among us in the midst of our trials and tribulations but rather turn you for every good in every need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.