I feel like I'm getting whiplash reading through Exodus!
From one passage to the next I feel like I'm riding a roller coaster of grumbling and grace.
In Exodus 14, God pushed back the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites and wiped out their enemies. Seems they really could've coasted on that high for awhile, don't you think?
Nope. They went straight from the place of their celebration into one of desolation, and no sooner had their feet hit the desert, their whining began. Not entirely illegitimate whining, mind you--they were without water for three days. I might be doing some whining, too!
But if you'd just seen Almighty God push back the waters of the sea with His own hands, wouldn't you think He could take care of your thirst?
Apparently not. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Whine, whine, whine.
In the course of just 4 chapters the Israelites went from:
-Deliverance from their slavery in Egypt - God is good!
-to a parched place in Shur - *grumble, grumble*
-to camping literally right beside the water in Elim - God is good!
-to a place of famine in the desert of Sin - *grumble, grumble*
-to the provision of manna and meat as an answer to their pangs of hunger - God is good!
-to a lack of water at Rephidim - *grumble, grumble*
-to water pouring out of a rock at Horeb - God is good!
Up and down, up and down. They had hardly finished praising Him for the last provision when they began complaining about the next thing.
But I'm that way too! I forget how God has come through, how He has made a way and carved something magnificent from a plank of impossibilities. And I ride this spiritual roller coaster of grumble, grumble / God is good!
Sometimes we find ourselves saying, "God is so great now!" Like, now that He has provided. Now that a job or opportunity came through. Now that my children are behaving. Now that I'm seeing fruit from my efforts.
No, God is so great ALWAYS. He is always worthy of our praise. When we're parched, when we're without, when we hurt, when we see His hand at work, and even when we don't. God is great. God is good. Not simply "Now that I see His provision." Always.
LORD God, Steady us! We want more consistency in our trust of You. Bring to our minds the ways in which You've moved and made a way when we're in those parched places. Remind us of who You are and what You have done. We claim Jeremiah 17: 7-8: "BLESSED is the one who trusts in You, whose confidence is in You, for he has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Don't let droughts shake us, nor famines fluster us. Keep us confident in Your faithfulness. In the strong and mighty name of Jesus, Amen.