Read Psalm 95:1-11
As we wrap up this week’s focus on pivotal circumstances that catalyze increased faith, we need to remind ourselves that all of our circumstances have pivotal, even polarizing potential. You have probably noticed that with others.
- Two patients . . . both diagnosed with a terminal illness . . . one’s faith and intimacy with God seem to grow daily. For the other, doubt is multiplied and animosity towards God seems to grow.
- Two employees . . . both lose their jobs in a corporate reduction . . . one’s bitterness seems to drip like a leaky faucet. The other’s “God confidence” inspires all in his path.
In those instances, the circumstances were similar. In both instances, the circumstances were pivotal. But the directions in which the people pivoted, were 180 degrees apart.
This was not unlike the Israelite experience at Meribah and Massah cited by the Psalmist. The children of God had already experienced God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt as He used the plagues to show Himself great, loving, and powerful. They had already witnessed His provision as they traveled through the Red Sea on dry ground between walls of water. They had already observed His protection as Pharaoh’s army drown in the same waters that had parted for them.
Still, a new circumstance arose. They were thirsty. Given God’s track record, wasn’t it safe to assume that He would provide them with an ample supply of fresh H2O? Easy for us to say, I suppose. They, however, chose to test God, quarrel, and even suggest that the Lord had delivered them from Egypt only so that they would die of thirst in the desert (Exodus 17). They allowed their circumstance, you see, to polarize them towards doubt, not faith.
Even though God miraculously provided water for them, the example of their decision has served as a warning for God-followers through the centuries. Don’t do what they did! Don’t repeat the complaining, quarreling, doubting, testing response of Meribah! Today, in the challenging circumstances you will face, don’t allow your heart to harden towards God as at Massah! Instead, listen to His faithful and trustworthy promises and allow yourself to be polarized towards faith and rest.