1 And all the community of the ⌊Israelites⌋ set out from the desert of Sin for their journeys according to the command of Yahweh, and they camped in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 And the people quarreled with Moses, and they said, “Give us water so that we can drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Yahweh?” 3 And the people thirsted for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why ⌊ever⌋ did you bring us up from Egypt to kill me and my sons and my cattle with thirst?”4 And Moses cried out to Yahweh, saying, “What will I do with this people? A little longer and they will stone me.” 5 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go on before the people and take with you some from the elders of Israel, and the staff with which you struck the Nile take in your hand, and go. 6 Look, I will be standing before you there on the rock in Horeb, and you will strike the rock, and water will come out from it, and the people will drink.”
And Moses did so before the eyes of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the ⌊Israelites⌋ and because of their testing Yahweh by saying, “Is Yahweh in our midst or not?”
We find Moses in another episode where he is in over his head with the people of Israel and once again it involves water.
They had traveled again and now they were ready for his head; so he pleads with the Lord for help and instead of getting angry, the Lord tells Moe to go to a certain rock with the elders of the people with his rod. When they make it to the rock Moses had been directed to strike the rock.
God would be standing upon the rock and cause water to come forth from it; enough for over 3 or so million people.
Now that is just another miracle to add to the long list that the Lord had performed in front of these people.
Yet they still quarrel against Moses and test God with their actions.
Paul tells us that the rock is Jesus
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all went 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 But God was not pleased with the majority of them, for they were struck down in the desert.
So why was God not happy with them?
Mainly because of their unbelief
Moses tells us here in verse 7 that they tested God by asking “Is Yahweh in our midst or not?”
Imagine seeing all those wonderful, powerful, and miraculous works of God right there in front of you.
Would it change us?
Would it focus our hearts more on the Lord?
I would venture to say no.
Because we, in modern times as followers of Jesus, have something that they don’t; the Holy Spirit.
They had nothing but their sinful hearts and natures and yet I, and I might guess that you, have been guilty of asking the Lord:
“Are you there or not?”
“Are You really helping me or in my corner?”
Even though we have seen things just as miraculous in our lives, we still have that ugly thing in our lives called “sinful nature,” and as long as we are here on this earth it isn’t going anywhere. We must learn to trust in Jesus Who gave us this promise:
5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
Our job is to trust Him and lean on Him with grace as our guide and faith in our hearts