This is Only a Test
--The scene is a jubilant one. The entire Israelite community
had been miraculously delivered from the heavy bondage of slavery.
Their jaws dropped as they watched God part the Red Sea so they
could walk triumphantly into freedom. The book of Exodus gives
us the account.
Miriam, Moses’ big sister, led the procession with clashing
tambourines in what must have been the biggest “Praise Celebration”
of all time. They had witnessed first hand how their mighty Jehovah
had brought them out from under the cruel demands of Pharaoh and
his chariot officers.
You would have surely thought that they would be riding this
“wave of faith” for quite some time to come. But only
three days later, they were complaining to Moses, “Why did
you take us from Egypt and drag us out here only to have us die
Moses himself even got out of sorts. He complained to God, “What
am I to do with these people”?
God calmly answered Moses (as if He was not surprised at all
by their behavior),
“Walk on ahead of the people. Strike the rock, and water
will come out of it for the people to drink. So Moses did this
in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place
Massah and Meribah because they quarreled and they tested the
Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Exodus
They tested God… but in reality God was testing them.
As we continue to journey with them in the hot dessert sand through
the Old Testament, we begin to realize that the picture only becomes
more dismal. What the Israelites failed to see was that God was
continually bringing them into a “wilderness of testing”
for one purpose: to see what was truly in their hearts, to see
if they would trust and obey Him without a grand display of miracles.
Even in our own lives, we travel through different places of
testing. God has historically used this story of the Israelites
as an example of how not to respond when faced with trials.
(See Hebrews 4:11.)
The bottom line is that God is after something in each one of
us. This thing called life is simply our own desert of testing.
Why not allow God to part the “red seas” of your life?
He has a “promised land” that He wants to bring you
into so He can show Himself mighty and strong on your behalf.
With boldness and courage let us learn from our predecessors
the valuable lessons of faith and let us remind ourselves, “This
is only a test.”
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