“The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink” (Exodus 17:1, NIV).
Perhaps we might not get from God everything we want, but couldn’t we expect to get all that we need? Not what we think we need but what we truly need?
There was one thing the Israelites certainly needed, and that was water. Just after God in the cloud led the Israelites through the Red Sea, they followed Him through the hot, waterless desert for three days. Particularly in the desert, where finding water is so critical, their desperation is understandable. When would they get the water they needed?
So, where does God lead them? The pillar goes to Marah, where, at last, there is water. They must have been excited. But when they tasted the water, they immediately spat it out because it was bitter. “So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, ‘What are we to drink?’” (Exodus 15:24, NIV).
Then, a few days later, God does it again. This time, however, the pillar actually stops where there is no water at all (Exodus 17:1).
Read Exodus 15:22-27 and Exodus 17:1-7. What did God reveal to Israel about Himself at Marah and at Rephidim? What lessons should they have learned?
In Rephidim, what question did the children of Israel ask? Exodus 17:7. Have you ever asked the same question? If so, why? How did you feel, and what lessons did you learn after you had it answered? How many times do we need to get it answered before we stop asking it altogether?