Day 20: Bitter Waters

stock-footage-a-tannin-stained-red-water-creek-running-through-the-mountains-in-the-rainforest-of-ecuador“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water.  They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah.  The people grumbled to Moses, What are we going to drink?”  So he cried out to the Lord , and the Lord showed him a tree. When he threw it into the water, the water became drinkable. He made a statute and ordinance for them at Marah and He tested them there.  He said, “If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am Yahweh who heals you.” Exodus 15:22-26

There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord. Why have you brought the Lord ’s assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It’s not a place of grain, figs, vines, and pomegranates, and there is no water to drink!”

Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting. They fell down with their faces to the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.  The Lord spoke to Moses, “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.

water_rockSo Moses took the staff from the Lord ’s presence just as He had commanded him. Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?”  Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and He showed His holiness to them.” Numbers 20:1-13

I can either read the above verses and shake my head at those Israelites for not “getting it” after all the Lord had done and shown them or I can shake my head in repentance for following in the same path of disbelief and lack of trust in a God who heals and a God who is Holy. In addition, when I choose to grumble and complain I cause others to disobey God instead of pointing them to the Spring of Life.  Lord, forgive me for my wrong belief in who You are and help my unbelief.

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