(Exodus 17:2 NIV)
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?”
7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
There are two ways of testing God. The first way is to call into question his power and goodness, the second is to presume upon his mercy and grace when we sin.
This passage gives us an example of the first way. Because the people did not have water, they questioned God’s existence. It’s interesting to note that God had led them to the place of no water (Exodus 17:1). He provided water for them at that dry place just as He had given them food. To make His power even more convincing, He brought the water from a most unlikely source – a rock (Exodus 17:6). Are you in a dry place in your life? Don’t make the mistake of doubting God’s goodness or His power to work in your situation. Look for Him, listen to Him and trust Him. He will see you through.
The second way of testing the Lord God is found in the statement, “I can do anything I want because God has to take care of me.” Even though that may be an extreme example, we’ve all been guilty of the same sentiment. Any time that we intentionally step out of His will, we are presuming upon God’s mercy and grace. Are you engaged in willful, disobedient behavior? Don’t make the mistake of presuming upon God’s grace. Repent of that sin and return to the One who died for you.
Father, please forgive us for the times we have put you to the test. Help us, Lord, to trust your power and love always and never presume upon your mercy and grace.