Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Exodus 15:23-26 (NIV)
23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” 25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
It is easy to read a passage like this and think that our relationship with God is a lot like a business owner and an employee. We think: if I do the work that has been asked of me then I deserve to be paid. But this passage came right after God freely and graciously parted the Red Sea and saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt because He loved them! And what did they do almost immediately? Start “grumbling”. God wants to be our savior and our healer. This is not an economic transaction. And to prove it, God came down Himself to live the perfect life that we never could. Jesus followed the rules and fulfilled the covenant and we reap the rewards. Let us pray that God would heal our broken hearts, open our ears to hear His voice, and fill us with His Holy Spirit that we might be empowered to keep His statutes… and stop grumbling!