We’ve been watching ‘The Good Wife” recently. It’s about a lawyer; a particularly canny lawyer in fact. But the clients always have to listen and follow the advice of her counsel, or things get very tricky. If the programme is anything to go by, a good advocate can make black look white, and sort out the thorniest of problems. If you have to go to court, it must be great to have the best attorney working for you, but horrendous to have them on the opponent’s team.
The Israelites had the best advocate on their side (Exodus 15:22-27). God had shown them over and over again through all the plagues they had witnessed the Egyptians suffering, and then again as they had crossed the Red Sea, that he could bring devastation on their enemy whilst protecting them. Yet still they hadn’t quite got it. They’d gone three days through desert land without finding any water, so I guess their stocks were running quite low. And instead of simply asking God for it, they had all, Moses included, gone into panic mode. Wouldn’t you think by now, after all they had gone through, after all they had seen and experienced, after the unrestrained praise they’d uttered following the Red Sea event, that they’d have known God well enough to expect his provision? God gave them a simple formula in verse 26 – obey God, and he will sort out the rest.
But of course to obey, you have to have a close enough relationship to hear what is being said. That was the purpose God had intended in making them wait for their provision of water – that they might understand the need to seek God’s heart and voice, and not just his hand to provide. And once they’d got the message, God followed it up with reward – as much water as they could ever want or need. So he reinforced the lesson – he was able to provide for all their needs, so long as they listened and obeyed him. Lesson One in trust completed.
God does not hold back on us for the fun of it. When times get difficult, and prayers are not being answered, it is time to draw in closer and hear what he wants to tell us. Then ask, is there anything he has told me that I have not actioned? That being done, hold tight to memories of past blessings, and trust him for the present and the future. The Wonderful Counsellor knows our needs, and knows how to meet them. He also knows what we need to learn to make it though to a fruitful life in him. And let’s not forget, he really is on our side.