Every morning when I get up, I am very thirsty. I usually have some ice tea to start, but I am currently trying to change that to water. It is a struggle, since I don’t like water. I guess I am not like the Israelites in today’s portion of Exodus. They were thirsty for water. Then again, I don’t think ice tea was an option for them!
I may not be like them in thirsting for water, but there are others ways I am like them, and I bet you are too. They were accusing Moses of something he had not done. Look at Exodus 17:3. The Israelites are thirsty for water because their wanderings have led them to a place without water. Their actions and attitudes go “south” when they start complaining to Moses. Look at what they say: “Why did you….”. They are accusing Moses of taking them out of Egypt and then have the audacity to go so far as to accuse him of intending to kill them. Maybe they were being facetious, or exaggerating. I don’t know, but one thing I am sure of: they are WAY out of line AND they are accusing the wrong person. It was not Moses idea to bring them out of Egypt. It was God’s idea. If they are going to grumble and complain about their circumstances and the turn their lives have taken, the least they can do is aim it towards the one responsible. God. He is responsible for leading them out and for the exact geographical location with no water where he has led them. It was His plan, not Moses’.
Consider this: If instead of blaming Moses, what if the Israelites had looked at their difficult circumstances and recognized God’s hand was specifically in it instead? Would they have still complained? I don’t know, because that is not what they did. I can guess. They could have complained to God. If they did, it would have at least, in part, brought them to Him. They may have thought to ask Him to provide for their needs. It would have refocused them to realize God was the supplier of all their needs. For goodness sake, the manna they had probably just had for breakfast had been provided by Him! Perhaps they would have at least seen hope in God as their leader, trusting that while things were hard, He had a plan and could be trusted. If only they had looked at the true source of their current circumstances and moved forward from there.
But they didn’t. They looked to the wrong person who, by the way, could do nothing on his own about their problem. Moses didn’t have a case of water bottles hidden somewhere that he was keeping from them. You can bet he was thirsty too! They looked to the wrong person and lost hope. They should have gone straight to God.
This is where we are alike. I falsely accuse as well. I can blame trials on people or things that really are not responsible and can’t help me. I can lose sight of the fact that God has me in whatever circumstance to bring himself glory through my little life. I forget to ask Him to help me with my dire needs. Instead I just try to help myself, ask others who can not help or just wallow in frustration, lashing out at the closest person I can find. None of these things are productive. None bring hope. None help me trust God. The old saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger” certainly applies here. God reminded me today (and hopefully you too) to stop complaining and falsely accusing others when I am struggling, and instead, to come straight to Him. He is the only one who can give me what I need to survive my current trial and any I will face in the future.