“Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. ” (Exodus 17:6, NASB95)
Once again the children of Israel were grumbling because they were thirsty and couldn’t find water. I think what irritates me the most about their grumbling is that it comes with a conclusion. I don’t think the Lord minds if we grumble because our shortsightedness doesn’t allow us to see the bigger picture. I do think He minds when we grumble and conclude the worst, as though God is not going to do anything to help us. When the Israelites grumble, they constantly conclude that it would be better to be back in Egypt. That would be like us concluding that it would be better that we were never a Christian. So, it’s not the grumbling that gets God upset. It is the false conclusions made in the grumbling. If their grumbling would have just moved them to a one-minded prayer to God for help, now that would have been acceptable. The same is true for us. Examine your life’s grumblings. Watch out for conclusions that reject or deny God’s grace and providence.
Regardless of the grumbling, God had compassion on the children of Israel and provided them water to drink. I find it interesting that He provided the water from a rock. There are so many ways He could have done it. He chose to make the impossible happen. He asked Moses when He first called him into service, “Is anything impossible with God?” Once again, He proved the point. There was a message behind this provision of water. God was telling the Israelites, “If I can cause water to flow from a rock, then there is no reason to be stiff-necked and hardhearted.” There is a message there for us, too!
I know there are a lot of reasons in this life to grumble. We can’t see the big picture. We don’t see beyond our circumstances. We can’t imagine anything changing. This is when we need to turn on the eyes of faith and realize that we have a God who can do the impossible. He loves us and is inclined to hear and respond to our needs. He sees the big picture and knows our current circumstances. He can, and will, cause water to flow from the rocks in our lives.