“And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?” (Exodus 17:1-2 KJV)
“…and there was no water…” No water? It is often the case that when we find ourselves in these situations that those around us accuse us of miss-stepping the bounds God has placed for us (see Job 4:7). Yet, in this instance, the people never left the leadership of the pillar of fire nor of the cloud, yet there was no water. What a situation to be in. No one likes to be in a place without water because it is a very unmanageable situation. You are put in a place where you cannot provide for your own basic needs. Still it is a great test to see what is in your heart. Do we chide (complain, content, strive) with our leaders and tempt (test or try) the Lord? Or in the midst of our very real need, do we lay the situation at God’s feet in trust and fervent prayer and know that even if we do die in this present desert that God has still been faithful and has still displayed His power? Do we understand that it is God’s name on the hook and not necessarily ours? Even if it were ours, would we not be willing to give up our name in exchange for what He has given us? We are anxious to know why God is leading us to a place that contains no water, so we can manage our way around such a situation, but the situation is not ours to manage. The challenge sometimes is ours to go through and to endure that the master refiner might refine us and that He might gain glory by both our improvements and by the power, which He will display to resolve the situation. This is truly a challenge for someone who insists on being his or her own manager. During the day God’s light powerfully shines forth like clear speech that we might know His will immediately and feel the strength of His commands. However, at night when these things seem absent, we gain knowledge by waiting and watching. This is why God placed the stars in the sky at night that we might have a measure of dates, times, and seasons (see Genesis 1:14) while we are waiting for His returning dawn.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” (Psalms 19:1-2 KJV)