“He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel” psalm 103:7
Most of us in life see God’s acts, but few of us know his ways. What does God want to achieve in us? How does he go about accomplishing these things? What are his ways?
One of the places where we can learn about God’s ways is to study the Israelite’s journey through the wilderness. In Deuteronomy chapter 8 the Lord tells us what he wanted to accomplish in them and how he went about doing that.
Deuteronomy 8:2 …you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart…whether you would keep his commandments or not. V.3 …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.
The overarching purpose of God was to let the Israelites know that they needed to live according to His word and trust in him. He went about accomplishing that goal by bringing Israelites into hard places to make them realize their dependence on him. This is God’s way of disciplining his people. Their journey through the wilderness has a direct application to us. The Lord desires to accomplish the same goal in us, knowing God’s ways helps us to see the hand of the Lord behind the events of our lives. After traveling through the hot wilderness for three days, they found no water. They finally came to a place that appears to have water, but they could not drink the water because it was bitter. Exodus 15:24 goes on to say “…the people grumbled against Moses, saying what shall we drink?”
How differently they felt 4 or 5 days before this. They saw the Red sea parted and came through dry ground. They were rejoicing in God and probably felt from here on out with God life will be easy and great. What a surprise! They followed God and ended up in this hot barren wilderness with no water. What made the situation so difficult was the lack of a rational solution. So their whole outlook began to change and they accused Moses of bringing them into this wilderness to kill them with thirst!
Maybe most of us can relate to how they felt. When I became born again I felt euphoric. I thought from now on I would face no difficulty and life would be easy. But I never considered that the Lord disciplines us in the same way. In Exodus 15:25 we read …”there He tested them”.
The Lord will bring all of us into bitter hard places. Many times in those places we can’t see a rational solution. We maybe pray for a while and if we don’t see an immediate deliverance we begin to lose heart. What contributes to our discouragement is the fact that we can’t rationally see a way out. What are we to do?
- We need to always remember that nothing can come our way unless the Lord has allowed it to come. These places have their purposes.
- We need to bring the matter before the Lord. In Philippians 4:6 Paul tells us “do not be anxious about anything”, just because we cannot see a rational solution to our situation doesn’t mean that God is not able to see us through. We need to trust God regardless of how things may appear. The same God who delivered us in the past is right here with us.
- Remain true to God and his word in these difficult places. Many times we choose the easy way out because God’s ways may appear hard. During these times, it seems like God is silent and we don’t hear or see anything. The ball is in our court and God stands back to see how we choose. Be faithful in spite of appearances.
- The Lord showed Moses a log and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. As we remain faithful to God and patiently wait for him, he will show us either what to do or change the situation. Their answer was very near to them, but they could not see until the Lord told them. It’s the same way with us.
- The bitter water became sweet. Many times in life, we will be able to look back at these places and they become sweet places instead of bitter. We will be able to connect the dots in the future and see those places in a different light. Those places make an impact on us, we become different because of them. And now they are sweet.
May the Lord be with you all