Life comes with many obstacles and often they cause us hardship. In times of hardship it
is easy to blame others and, in some cases, we blame God.
Picture yourself on a beach digging a hole in the sand. You have been working on it for a
while and are unaware of the rising tide. You work diligently and complete your task and look
forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor. You are offered an ice cream cone and with a big
smile on your face you sit next to your hole ready to start eating your cone. Suddenly a wave
pushes up behind you. You quickly turn to see that your hole filling with water and sand and as
you turn back your ice cream topples off the cone into the sand. Soon reality sets in, got no ice
cream, got no hole.
The Israelites experienced similar feelings and disappointment as they exited Egypt and
started on their journey to the promised land. As they left Egypt, I am sure there was much
excitement and anticipation of a better life in the land of milk and honey. As they approached
the Red Sea they looked back, and they saw the Egyptian army coming after them. They turned
Exodus 14:11 NIV
11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the
desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?
The Israelites had endured much suffering at the hands of Pharaoh. They also witnessed
the mighty power of God and how Pharaoh suffered before releasing them from captivity. There
are differing interpretations to the bible as to why they suffered but the common theme is sin
and lack of faith. God does judge us, but he also restores us.
Lamentations 3:31-33 NIV
31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.
A lack of faith can lead us to quickly blame someone or even blame God for our
misfortunes. It seems that no matter what good God places in our lives we are often quick to
grumble at the first sign of trouble. After all they had seen and experienced, they continued to
complain and grumble to Moses at the first sign of trouble during their journey
Exodus 17:1-7 NIV
17 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as
the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you
quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” 3 But the people were thirsty for water
there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to
make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What
am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord answered Moses,
“Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand
the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at
Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in
the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah[a] and Meribah[b] because the
Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
Moses knew the power of God and his faith allowed him to put it in God’s hands.
God wants good for us but God also demands we follow his commands
Deuteronomy 6:24 NIV
24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we
might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
God did fulfill his promise to the Israelites, and he will keep his promise to us. Put faith in the
Lord and we will be rewarded with everlasting life in the Kingdom of Heaven. There are no
guarantees that we will not hit a few bumps in the road but failing to put our faith in God will
surely lead to a long and bumpy ride in life with much uncertainty at the end. The Israelites lost
faith in God and turned to Moses. Moses then turned to God. I can’t help thinking that when
they hit the first bump in the road, had they turned to God for an answer then, perhaps the
road to the promised land would have been far less bumpy.
As for the day at the beach, true story while on vacation in Maine. The young boy was not
as amused as his parents and I were. But I can honestly say that he did not get angry, he was sad
but quickly moved on to something else. He is a man of faith today so I can’t help but to think
that in his own way he did put it in God’s hands on that day at the beach.