God’s Way?: Better Off Dead?

“Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, ‘If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD!’ ” (Numbers 20:2-3)

We’re going to spend a few days with the ancient Israelites in a place called Kadesh. It’s been 40 years since this community escaped from Egypt. When they had the chance to go straight into the Promised Land, they did not believe God could pull it off. In spite of seeing him part the Red Sea and inflict those scary plagues on Egypt, they didn’t believe he was strong enough to help them conquer the land.

rockwater_350Remember their penalty? God sent them back into the wilderness to wander around for 40 years until everyone 20 and older died off. Now, 39 years later, it’s almost time for their grown-up kids to finally enter the Promised Land. But—like all of us—they still have issues with trusting God.

When things went bad, they threw a fit. There was a well-known spring at Kadesh which provided much-need water. They’d been there before. When they showed up this time, though, it was dry. They panicked, apparently, and got mad at Moses and Aaron, both well over 100 years old: “We’d be better off dead than here now with you and God,” they might as well have said.

Think: How do you react when things go wrong? Do you look for someone in charge to blame? When you get scared or find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, are you more or less likely to trust God? Why?

Pray: Ask God to help you to make the choice to trust him more, not less, when things go wrong. Ask him to give you the wisdom and faith not to look for someone to blame but to wait for him to provide.

Do: Notice this week how you and others react when things don’t go according to plan.