Exo 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, … and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.
Exodus 15 began with the victorious songs of the Israelites after their victory over Pharaoh. Initially, they were in a dreadful situation. Before them was a red sea and behind them was the army of Pharaoh. They cried out to God out of desperation and not out of faith because they blamed Moses. But God showed up mightily, the red sea parted, they escaped but the enemies perished in the sea. Suddenly, the Israelites became truly free! “God is good”, they sang.
Is that not the way you sang and praise God the day you got that long-awaited job, long-awaited baby, when you passed the difficult professional exam …? Praise is a natural attitude at good times. Those who can praise God at odd times and at hard times are the true worshipers who are praising him at all times.
But Israel’s experience after that great victory is notable! “…from the Red sea …and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water” (Exo 15:22). After the great deliverance from their long-time enemy, they experienced thirst and poverty. Suddenly the current pain erodes the joy of the glorious past. Their new response was sorrow and complaining.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; … there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them” (vs 22-25). In other words, when Moses prayed God explained that the lack of water after just experiencing the parting of the red sea or say lack after a major victory was to create a rule for living and principle for proving.
The first principle is that in as much as you are alive, the last battle you fought is not going to be the last! When you overcome a problem, be prepared for another. New breakthrough creates new devils. After Jesus overcame Satan’s temptation, the devil left Jesus “for a season” (Lk 4:13). It means not even 40 days of dry fasting could banish Satan from troubling Jesus.
The second principle is that despite God’s love he will not make you totally escape the negative reality of your environment. The Israelites lacked water because there was no water flowing on their path “We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains …Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, …” (Rom 8:23). If the economy is harsh and the unemployment rate is high, many believers will experience unemployment despite their faith. it means we may all continue to suffer till somebody rise to solve the problem. If God had quickly given his people miracle water, then who will dig the well? Christians must realize they are not totally insulated from environmental challenges. That is why believers must be committed to making their society better rather than be self-oriented.
The third principle is that the presence of a problem does not signify the absence of God. Regardless of the presence of God abiding with Isreal, they suffered thirst. God is with you not to stop the storm from raging but to help you calm the raging storm after he has proved your faith and obedience.
The fourth principle is that God will always want to prove our unconditional love for him. God is seeking those who will praise him whether they are hungry or full. Challenges lack, disappointments are God’s proving tools “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart,” (Deut 8:2)
The fifth principle is that even though God can give us all things at all time, he will sometimes withdraw his supply so that we can look forward to heaven. Although God can supernaturally supply water to Israel, he didn’t. Gaining the whole world is one reason anyone will never bother to seek heaven. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mrk 10:25). That is why God will humble you, and let you hunger … that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD (Deut 8:3) ….
You shall be victorious in Jesus name!
by Oyindamola Adejumo-Ayibiowu PhD