By Benson Hostetter, a junior at Goshen College
Reprinted from Lenten Devotions
Trust and faith. The Israelites struggled with this a lot, and this is yet another account where we see the people of Israel failing to trust God. They didn’t have faith that God was right there with them watching out for their needs. In this passage, the Israelites were so furious that they were ready to stone Moses. Then Moses cried out to God and God provided water for the people. Wow. It’s amazing to me that with such a lack of trust and faith, God still gave them what they asked for. God is with us.
This passage reminds me of Matthew 6:31-32, where Jesus says, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly father already knows all your needs.” How much do we fail to trust that God will provide for us? We save up money for our own future as opposed to giving what we have now to the poor; we give only out of our abundance; we worry about things daily that are far less important than what we will eat, drink or wear.
Jesus calls these people who let worry dominate their thoughts “unbelievers.” Wow. Seems harsh. But it’s true. When we worry, we are not putting trust in God, or having faith that God will provide. We become unbelievers. So don’t be like the Israelites, who worry and get mad at God when God seems to be distant. God’s watching out for you, and for me. Just learn to follow God, and stay in touch with the spirit. Pastor Jim Brown once said, “Generosity is the cure to worry.” Just think about it. Give generously, love others and follow Jesus.
Exodus 17:1-7 (NRSV)