Every difficulty that God permits us to encounter will become either a test that can make us better or a temptation that can make us worse, and it is our own attitude that determines which it will be. This is seen in the way that Israel grumbled against the Lord when they ran out of water. By an outstretched hand, God had brought His people out of their bondage. He had parted the sea and provided victory over their enemies. Yet they needed to learn the lesson that the God who saves His people is also the God who sustains His people. He would not bring them out of Egypt only to abandon them to their thirst in the wilderness.
Instead of trusting in the Lord, they people complain against Him and are almost ready to take up stones against Moses. It was the presence of the Lord that gave Moses the strength and confidence he needed as he led the Israelites during their wilderness wandering. He had a difficult task, but the Lord was with him and pointed him to a ‘rock.’ The presence of the Lord would be on this rock, and Moses was instructed to take his staff and strike the rock, and water would come out of it to quench the people’s thirst. The name of the place was called ‘Massah,’ which means to test, and ‘Meribah,’ which means arguing. The people were having to learn the lesson that God tests us in the everyday experiences of life.
If in unbelief we start complaining and blaming God for our troubles, then temptation will rob us of an opportunity to grow spiritually. But if we trust God and let Him have His way, the trial will work for us and not against us. We must always remember that the Rock who saves is also the Rock who sustains! Jesus is our living water in the wilderness places of life. He is the Rock who was struck for our salvation. He is the ever-present, ever-flowing fountain of water that never runs dry. He will never leave us nor forsake us. If you are thirsty, come to the well!