From Praise to Petulance

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I hope you enjoyed a great day of praise yesterday. How is today so far? It surprises me how quickly we move from praise to petulance. It happened to the Israelites also.

Exodus 15:22-27 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah. ) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

The Israelites are only three days removed from their deliverance by the powerful hand of God, and they are already grouchy and grumbling. The focus of their faith has already shifted as they look to Moses to solve their predicament and supply their need. But God graciously answers their complaining cries and turns this into a teachable moment. He gives Moses a solution to the water problem, and then reminds the people of a significant aspect of their faith in Him.

Think back to the first plague that God brought against the Egyptians. He turned the water into blood. The fish died, and the water began to stink so badly that they could not drink it. Now the Israelites are in a similar situation and they don’t know what to do. They have not connected the dots that if God is able to make good water bad, then He can also make bad water good.

God wants them to learn a lesson about faith and to understand something significant. He tells them that if their faith is properly focused, none of the diseases brought upon the rebellious Egyptians would be placed on them. If they will listen to the Lord their God and put into action what they have heard, then they will be protected, and He will provide for them.

God reveals Himself to the people as their Healer – Jehovah-Rapha. The word Rapha means to mend and to make whole. He has shown Himself to be their Deliverer, and now He wants them to experience Him as their Healer – the One who will fulfill their lives. He demonstrates this by bringing them to Elim, a place of rest, refreshment, and restoration. He brought them to a place of wholeness.

My friends, when the emotional excitement of the deliverance has faded and the realities of our physical condition have replaced our faith in the Deliverer, God will reveal Himself to us as our Healer. He will show us that He is the One who will provide and protect so that we are complete and fulfilled.

What kind of difficulty are you currently experiencing that has brought discontent and diminished hope to your life? Have you taken that difficulty to God Himself, or have you looked to the world and its residents for your solution? Has the focus of your faith shifted from God to self? Remember, the One who delivered you is also your Healer. Go to Him, and He will lead you to a place of shade from the heat of the day and a place of refreshment and renewal for the next part of the journey.

Pastor John