This is the third time the Israelites have complained and grumbled against The Lord since they’ve left Egypt over water and food. In their defense, they had a legitimate need. There was no water to drink (v.2). The circumstance they were in was out of their control. However, the way they responded was on them and their response revealed the state of their hearts.
“But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
Why did you do this to “us” God? Their focus was completely on themselves, the way they felt, and what they felt like they needed. Their self-focus led them straight to hopelessness because they saw no way that “they” could fix their own problem. They failed to remember that they didn’t have to fix their own problem for provision. God had provided multiple times for them already and they most certainly could trust Him again. Their testing of The Lord was sinful (Psalm 95:7-9, Deut. 6:16) because it stemmed from their hardened prideful hearts. They felt like God wasn’t even with them (v.7) because they had taken their focus off of Him and placed it on themselves. But, even in their sinful rebellion against Him, God reveals Himself once again to His people and provides the life giving water they needed.
Speaking for myself, this is a perfect description of me many times. I am so quick to forget God’s sufficient ability to provide exactly what I need when I need it. The reason: I take my eyes of who God is and His promises and I begin to rely on myself to fix my problems, not God. This was never God’s design for man. We are designed to be dependent on Him and His provision. Not only that, our lives are not to be about “us” at all. We are created by God and for God’s glory and we cannot fix ourselves.
The Israelites drank water that brought them life from the rock. Later in the New Testament Paul tells us who that Rock truly was:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5
The Rock was Christ! It was Jesus who provided life giving water in the desert of their sin even when they didn’t deserve it. Likewise, it is Jesus who we need to provide the life giving water of salvation and sanctify us to be like Himself bringing glory and honor to God with our lives in all circumstances. Let us take our eyes off ourselves and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author of life.
Examine where your focus is today, on yourself or on Jesus? Do you find yourself grumbling about your circumstances? Does it seem like God is far from you? These are indications that you’re self-focused. God has revealed Himself to us through Jesus. Take time today to repent of your pride and drink deeply from the life giving water that flows from the Rock of Jesus.
By: Matt Mofield