Dying of Thirst
In the book of Exodus, the children of Israel tested the Lord because they could not find water. In chapter 17 we read, “Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?’ 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?’”
Note the three points of testing:
1. personal testing (fear of being killed)
2. family testing (fear for our children’s safety)
3. livelihood testing (fear of losing our job)
It was here that “. . . he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’” (The word Massah means “testing”; Meribah is translated “quarreling.”)
Moses saw that the root of the problem was the fact the children of Israel did not understand or believe that the LORD was with them–“Is the LORD among us or not?” If a believer is not convinced that God is with them in every difficult circumstance, then quarreling and complaining are sure to follow. God uses difficult circumstances to test us so that we might know the needs of our hearts as well as the power of His redemption–especially when we are tested in these three areas.
When it seems as though we will die of thirst, we must avoid the illusion of the satisfying drink that comes from the wells of this world; these wells keep us as slaves to our empty water buckets and bring fatigue, frustration, and fear. The satisfying water that never runs dry is available for the asking (John 4:10). And the Source is indeed present among us.