This Is Only A Test
Written by Felicia McKnight
Last week’s Feevotional, “The Wait is Almost Over,” was about being in between blessings. Noah survived the storm, but he still had to wait on God to fulfill the promise of the covenant. Today we will look at another in between blessings scenario when the Israelites found themselves between deliverance from the enemy and an overflow of provision.
“Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?” (Exodus 15:22-24)
God just delivered the Israelites out of Egypt in Exodus Chapter 14 by parting the Red Sea. Not only did God deliver them, but God cancelled out any future attacks of the enemy by drowning Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites had just experienced a supernatural, nobody but God victory. For us this would be one of those items to check off of our “Been Waiting and Trusting God For A Long Time” list. The Israelites go from rejoicing over a major victory to finding themselves in the Desert of Shur, a place of lack. They are searching for water and in need of provision from God. After they traveled from the Desert of Shur they found themselves in Marah, a place that had water. The problem is the water was bitter and they could not drink it. The Israelites begin to complain to Moses and asked what are they going to drink. Moses prayed, and God answered immediately by making the water sweet (in some translations) or fit to drink. The Israelites now had something to drink. Their provision was met. “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.” (Exodus 15:25a)
Have you ever found yourself walking out of a major victory only to walk back into a situation that sends you back to the prayer closet? Did you trust God to meet the needs of that situation again or did you begin to cry out and complain? Did you remember the same God that just delivered you is the same God that can solve this problem too? I can speak for myself and have been in this situation plenty of times. I’ve had my season of rejoicing and sharing what God has done only to be led right back to a place where I had to depend on him to see me through. Like many of us we wish we could just have a season of back to back victories instead of a season of ups and downs. The longer I live the more I realize God gives us seasons of ups and downs for a reason. He is testing us to see if we remember that the same God who delivered us from one circumstance on yesterday is the same God that can deliver us today.
Have you ever been in the middle of watching a good television show or movie and all of a sudden you hear “Beeeeeeeeeeeeep, this is a test of the emergency broadcasting system?” Your wonderful time of entertainment is now interrupted by a loud, irritating noise, which interrupts what you are doing so that the emergency systems can be tested. It is only a temporary annoyance that lasts briefly but within a minute or so you are able to return back to your regularly scheduled programming. This is exactly what happened with the Israelites. The Israelites found themselves in a temporary place of frustration that was only a test. “There the LORD issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.” (Exodus 15:25b) The testing of the emergency broadcast system is a way to test communications within the United States of America in the event an emergency situation arises. Likewise, God is testing His communication system to the Israelites and to us in our emergency situation. When the television begins with that loud beep do you get mad and throw your remote at the television screen or do you sit back and wait patiently knowing that it will be over shortly? When circumstances arise in your life do you complain, get depressed or get mad at God or do you test your emergency communication system and pray? Do you operate in a place of faith knowing this is only temporary and can soon return back to your regularly scheduled programming of life?
Remember last week I talked about how God will give us commandments that will get us to our destiny. The key is we have to be obedient to do what God tells us to do. As we wait in a place of obedience God will send us tests and blessings during the wait to remind us He is still El Shaddai the all sufficient God. Often times we don’t know what major blessing God is about to release in our life. According to His word “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,” (Exodus 15:26) then the Lord is faithful to fulfil His promises in our life in ways we couldn’t imagine. God’s promise to the Israelites was that He would not bring on them any of the diseases that he brought upon the Egyptians. He promised Israelites he would be Jehovah Rophe, the God who heals. (Exodus 15:26)
When we are obedient to God and when we endure the journey that He takes us on, then He will lead us places that are exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask for or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) If we just trust God that while we are waiting on Him He is preparing our destiny for us. We won’t have to pray and ask Him to make it better, but it will be complete and His best and just what He wanted to bless us with. Our destiny will be just right and immediately ready for us to enjoy. Remember God will bless us along the way with blessings that relate to our destiny. In verse 23 God blessed the Israelites with bitter turned sweet water, but in verse 27 God blessed them with water that was already prepared to provide all that they need.
“Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.” (Exodus 15:27)
The Israelites came from one body of water that was a temporary source that they all had to share (verse 23) and arrived to a place of twelve springs (verse 27). There was one spring for each tribe of Israel. Springs are constantly flowing with water, so they were in a place of abundance. I learned something interesting about springs. A spring is water that flows from out of the ground. So they came from the Dessert of Shur that had dry ground to Elim a place with water flowing from the ground. They came from one place where it was impossible to have water to a place where water was not only possible, but given to them in abundance. Not only did God provide their needs by giving them water, but He threw in some extra bonuses. He gave them seventy palm trees. They did not have to sit in the open elements or burn from the sun, but they had palm trees to provide them with shade. They were covered and protected.
I don’t know what you are waiting on God for or what difficult circumstances you face today. Perhaps you are like me and the Israelites. We have experienced a victory in one area, but God has us back on our knees praying for provision in another. We are in a place of waiting on God so we can check some things off of our “Waiting on God For a Long Time” list. Whatever troubles we face right now we have to trust God that He will deliver us from this too. We have to trust that while we wait and pray He is preparing a place for us that is above what we can ask him for, hope for, or imagine. He is preparing a place that exceeds our expectations. Continue to remain in a place of faith and prayer knowing the wait is almost over. Whatever hardships and frustrations you are facing today is only a temporary situation. It is just a test of God’s emergency broadcasting system in your life. Trust Him today. Be blessed and encouraged!
Heavenly Father, we thank you for being El Shaddai the all sufficient God. Thank you for every victory you have brought us through thus far. Some of us have found ourselves in the place of Marah, a place of hardship and frustrations. Instead of choosing to complain, cry, or get depressed we rejoice in faith knowing this is a temporary situation. Thank you that even though this is a testing place, that you are still sustaining us with everything that we need. We trust you knowing the wait is almost over and our breakthrough is near. We trust you today knowing that whatever is on the other side of Marah is exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask or imagine. We thank that you are bringing us to a place of breakthroughs and miracles that only you can perform. We give you all the glory, the honor, and the praise. In Jesus holy name. Amen