Read Exodus 17
The word grumbled, in Hebrew, it means rub.
The people rubbed against Moses, disquieted and contentious. They got all bent out of shape, irritated with God’s man, their leader.
The leader who’d led them out of Egypt to safety and freedom.
But the rub wasn’t just an irritation. It was a mistrust, an apprehension to believe that God was actually among them. After all God had led them out of, all He had walked them into, the people of Israel doubted God’s faithful hand. When the people demanded water from Moses, quarreled with him about having none, they questioned God’s presence.
They let their circumstances sway what they knew to be true. The Israelites’ faith wavered in the presence of the very God who’d so faithfully freed them from the horrible hand of their oppressors. And all because of what they did not have.
He’d been seeable by cloud and by fire, followable through Red Sea water, pursuable into desolate wilderness. So God did the unimaginable.
He gave them water from a rock with the touch of Moses’ staff. He gave them victory over Amalek with the holding up of hands to God. The LORD Is My Banner became the offering the people of God would give. Because always He was there. Always overseeing. Always in their midst. Even when they didn’t have water. Even when they failed to see His faithful hand before the water started to flow.
Can you relate? I can.
We believe God has led us to a certain situation. A job. A home. A child. Then it feels like He forgot about us when things get hard. We lose the job. The basement floods. Our child develops an incurable disease.
So we rub against the powers that seem to be and we forget the Name of the God who is. We lose sight of His promise, His Presence, His hope, in light of terrible circumstances whose end we cannot see.
Is it possible that He wants to use that circumstance — like He used the Israelites’ thirst — to show us more of His presence? More of His power? More of His love?