Weekly Devotion – Exodus 17:7

Published 12:25 pm Monday, March 4, 2024

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 17:7, “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?’”

We’ve sort of looked down on the Israelites in the last few verses. We’ve seen them grumble and complain about the lack of water. They said they, their children, and all their animals were going to die of thirst in the desert. But the root of their problem is revealed in this verse: they doubted whether the Lord was among them or not. We might wonder how they could even think this. After all, consider the miracles they have seen. We can start with Moses’ staff becoming a snake, think about the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh’s army, and the giving of manna and quail. How can they doubt the Lord is with them?

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And yet, don’t we far too often do the same thing? When we go through troubles, we grumble and complain ourselves. We want to know why this is happening to us. We look at all the negatives and problems we have. We might even grumble about God and his people. We might be angry with God. We might blame him for our troubles. We might doubt he is there with us anymore.

And yet, we must remember, God has promised to be with us always. And we also need to remember God does not promise us an easy life, smooth sailing, all sunshine and ice cream. On one hand, Christians go through the same sicknesses and diseases that non-Christians go through. We suffer with the same accidents and tragedies they do. We face the same financial problems the world does. And on top of that, Jesus said that the world would hate us, just like it hated him. And he promised persecution for those who follow him. I know, that does not sound like a huge incentive to follow God.

But we must never forget, God has promised to be with us always. Simply put, he doesn’t always calm the storm, sometimes he calms his child in the storm. We need to remember God will never leave us. And we need to learn to lean into him; in the good times as well as the bad.

Father, help me overcome my doubt. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.