Here we are, back with the Israelites as they continue on their journey, moving further and further from Egypt and closer to the promised land. And just like in chapters 15 and 16, we hear them complaining against Moses and the Lord again. Every time I read these words, I ask myself, "Do I complain and murmur against God's will for me? Am I happy where He has placed me or is there something I want that I don't have?" I have to search my heart to make sure I am not being a grumbler or complainer.
The reason for their complaints this time is the same as in chapter 15 - no water. But didn't the Lord provide for them then? So of course He is capable of providing again. They seem to have forgotten this.
Then a bigger problem arises. Amalek, the descendants of Esau, draw near to the Israelites to fight against them. Throughout the history of ancient Israel, the Amalekites have been a nation who have always been against them. There were constant battles between God's people and this enemy over time. Doesn't this just remind us that we are in the same situation today? We are in a constant battle, each and every day, with our enemies - the devil, the flesh and the world. Galatians 4:17 and Romans 7:21-24 talk about the Spirit in battle against the flesh and good versus evil. According to the actions of Moses and his friends (v12), there is only one way for us to be victorious in this daily battle - by prayer. There are numerous references in the Scriptures to 'lifting up the hands', meaning to be in prayer - take a look at:
- Psalm 28:2
- Psalm 63:4
- Psalm 134:2
- Psalm 141:2
- Lamentations 2:19
- Lamentations 3:41
- 1 Timothy 2:8
So we need to keep close to God in prayer. This is the means of victory He has given us and if we choose to neglect it, then we will be overwhelmed in the daily battle. Pray always, be aware and be vigilant (Ephesians 6:18). "Pray without ceasing" (1Thessalonians 5:17).
Prayer matters: Think about the great privilege that Moses had in verse 12 - he had friends on either side of him, supporting him in his prayers. If you have something that is a heavy burden to you just now, why not ask some of your close and faithful friends to pray along with you? I'm sure they would be very happy to be your prayer support during times of difficulty. More importantly, don't forget that Christ your Saviour is also praying on your behalf.
Hugs Karen x