Streams of Blessings
Exodus 17:1-7; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 297, 298
We praise God for supplying our needs.
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (John 7:37).
Have you ever been really thirsty and not been able to find anything to drink? That is how the Israelites felt when they reached their new camp and found no water.
It happened something like this . . .
It was time to move again. The Israelites were getting used to making camp. They could put up and take down their tents quickly now. Life in the desert was very different from life in Egypt. In Egypt they had worked as slaves building palaces and temples. Now they were going from place to place, following God’s leading.
God had looked after them in so many different ways. He had protected them when all the plagues came to Egypt. When Pharaoh chased them, God had opened an escape route through the sea. As they continued their journey, God had provided manna; food for them. They could see God’s presence in a large cloud in the daytime and a cloud of fire by night.
The desert was an unfriendly place. It became so hot during the day that you could almost cook on the hot stones. At nighttime the temperature was cold. You needed to wrap up to keep warm.
They had arrived at Rephidim, their new camp. Everyone was tired, thirsty, and dusty after the long walk. The cattle’s cries demanded water. The sheep and the goats echoed that call. The donkeys brayed and stamped their feet, adding to the plea. Only the camels did not seem to mind that there was no water. They could go without it for some time.
Everyone looked around, but there was no water. People began to ask each other if they had found any water. The answer was always the same: “No.”
Soon the people began to look for Moses. When they found him, they began to complain.
“Give us water to drink. We are thirsty. Our families are thirsty. Our animals are thirsty. We must have water, or we will die.”
Moses looked sad. He knew that God would provide all their needs. They had seen God do so many things for them. Surely they must understand that God had brought them here. And He would provide water. Moses answered: “Why are you quarreling with me? Why are you putting God to the test?”
The people did not listen; they just complained. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We are all going to die.”
Moses did not know what to do. He turned to God in prayer. “What should I do with these people?” he asked. “They are almost ready to stone me.”
God answered Moses, “Walk on ahead and take some of the leaders with you. Bring the staff you used when I turned the waters of the river Nile into blood. I will go before you and stand by a rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it.”
So Moses called the leaders and walked ahead. He found the rock and struck it, just as God had said. Water came gushing out! Enough water for everyone! More than enough to water all the animals, too!
Once again God supplied all their needs. God never changes. He still supplies our needs today. What a wonderful God!