The water is falling off the roof from a winter’s worth of snow. It’s been doing this for days. This will run off and irrigate the western half of our continent. We have water in abundance, for now.
Meanwhile, the people of Israel said to Moses, “Give us water to drink.” Theirs was a dry place. No snow in sight.
Moses seemed to have had enough of these folks. He complained to God, “What shall I do with this people?” They were a family who grumbled and quarreled. They made their demands. They were hungry, and then they were thirsty.
It was a desert, of course, so perhaps we ought not to be too hard on them. There was a great lack, and there wasn’t much hope in sight for a natural solution.
But at Massah and Meribah, we have the record of a great sin. The people “tested” God. After all they had seen him do, they asked, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
It was not enough that they walked out of their camp each morning to collect the bread that appeared like the morning dew. They still asked, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
God’s answer to this was not immediate destruction of the people of Israel. He didn’t cause boils to break out on them. He didn’t deliver them into the hand of a foreign army.
No, he brought water out of the Rock.
We call this grace. This is the idea of unmerited, undeserved favor. God decided to do this of his own accord. The people, clearly, did not earn it.
God told the apostle Paul one time, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Do you believe that is true? Or are you in a grumbling mood these days?
One of the key lessons of this text is that if you know that God’s grace is sufficient for you – that God always has a good plan for his children, even if we can’t figure out exactly what that plan is at the moment – then you will stop grumbling. You will wait with patient endurance (Revelation 2:3; 3:10).
God can bring water out of rock. He can make pools form in the desert (107:35). His grace is enough.
This chapter also calls to mind several other texts from Scripture – namely Deuteronomy 6:16-17; Psalm 95:6-11; and 1 Corinthians 10:1-5. Please read those when you have the opportunity.