In Exodus 7 the Israelites depart from the Desert of Sin and head out on the path that God directs them to follow. As they wandered they started to grumble – they were in a desert with no water. You and I would grumble too. But they went a step beyond where you or I would normally go. The Israelites come to God and almost accuse Him of a lack of care and concern for them. After all, they are in a desert and they are thirst and God is providing them with water. It kinda makes sense.
At times, in my own mind, I may question God and may even wonder why He allowed this to happen or wonder why He did not choose to intervene in this situation or that one. Sometimes I struggle with reconciling what I know of God with what I see happening in His world. But I don’t ever come close to accusing God of something.
Maybe this disparity about how we each relate to God reveals some things about us and some things about the Israelites. The Israelites certainly had a different comfort level with God. They felt that God would listen to their complaints and that He would listen and that maybe He would even fix things. We don’t see our relationship as that personal. We don’t see God as our direct caretaker. And I wonder ‘why not?’
Many times we pray for something or for someone. Last week, a fellow church member asked me to pray for a friend’s daughter who was very ill. The friend’s family lives in another state and I do not know them. But one morning later in the week I felt the Spirit move me as I prayed for this girl and her family – to tell God that I trusted in Him to bring her healing. I believe He is a mighty God and that He can do anything. So I placed this girl into His hands. Sunday morning my friend told me that she passed away. For a few minutes I was almost at a loss for words and for thought. I wondered how God could allow this. But then came my understanding. God did bring her healing. And in the midst of this tragedy He will continue to be present for this family. He will love on and comfort and get them through this. He will send the right words they need to hear and will send them the people they need to have in their life right now. He is a mighty God.
And just like we wrestle with what God lays before us from time to time, the people of Moses wrestled with God. From the expression of their frustration, the Israelites came to learn something. We need to learn this lesson as well. They came to see God’s mercy in His repsonse to their complaint. They came to know Him more. When we come to God with all of our good, bad, and ugly, we too come to know Him better. And don’t worry – He’s a big god, He can take it!