Have you ever had a situation come up and your first response was to grumble about it? Or, do you see everything in a positive light?
The Israelites chose the former as we will learn in this Exodus Bible study lesson from the Old Testament. Let read and study how Israel complains in the desert, displeasing God.
Providing Water for Israel – Israel Complains in the Desert
The people are wandering, following Moses in the wilderness.
They begin to grumble because the water is low with none to drink in sight.
As with many times before in the Old Testament, God comes through and saves them – even with their refusal to trust his commands.
God Provides Water & Health
Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.
When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah.
So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.
There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them.
And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”
Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters. – Exodus 15:22-27 NASB
Wandering in the Desert – Why Marah?
Of the places God led the people, the meaning of Marah is the negative attitudes Israel assumed. This goes along with their refusal to trust the fact that God knew what He was doing.
What about Elim?
In contrast, Elim was named for God providing for the people of Israel. Even though they whined and complained, God saw to their needs.
Grumble in the Desert vs. Trust and Prayer
Even after Pharaoh ordered Israel to make bricks without straw in Egypt, they are still complaining after they’re free. Yes, Israel was in a bad situation in the desert but they still didn’t trust God enough to have faith in His deliverance promise.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when bad circumstances occur in my life the first natural reaction is to complain about it.
Then, after a respectable amount of grumbling and self pity, I’ll pray and ask God for His input.
This is totally against what God asks me to do, I know.
Have you ever complained about something over which you had no control only to have to recant because God came through for you?
Yes – me too!
Complaining in the Desert? Listen to God
Fact is, God told the Israelites over and over that if they would only listen and obey Him, He would take care of them. But, like us – they didn’t listen and refused to trust.
“There He made for them a statute and regulation..” – NASB
The laws God put into place covered the forming of a nation – the nation of Israel. Many of the directions such as the cleanliness rituals were meant to drastically reduce disease.
God – The Great Physician
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0310340756″ locale=”US” src=”https://makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/51KFnvbo4BL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”111″]We have the advantage of just now beginning to discover what God knew all along about good health. Medical science now confirms God’s law. Isn’t that amazing?
What direction is God giving you and me today? Are we listening to His advice – or would we rather complain in the desert like Israel?
Love in Christ
I hope this study about how Israel complains in the desert has helped you apply some of God’s lessons. To learn more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read the John 3:16 verse to get more information.