“And they tested God in their heart by asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: they said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, so that the waters gushed out. and the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?”
“Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and danger also came up against Israel. Because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in his salvation.” Psalm 78:18-22 (NKJV)
I have been reading through the Psalms lately. A couple of days ago I read Psalm 78 and it seemed to hold the answer to so many questions that have been swirling around in my head. Most of these questions began with the word “How?”
“How in the world are we (you) going to raise $50,000 to feed approximately 1,300 students next year? What about the money for the new church building? How can we (you) possibly raise $150,000 when there are so many other projects vying for our attention? What about the sound equipment for the church and the materials for the Bible institute? Where are we (you) going to get the money to pay professors’ salaries this month when the parents and Bible school students can barely pay tuition?” The conversation in my mind played on. “What about that new pickup? Where are we (you) going to get $30,000 for another vehicle?”
Are we not often guilty of the same sin of unbelief that the Israelites demonstrated in the wilderness? Yes, they had already seen the Lord’s miraculous deliverance at the Red Sea, but they (just like us) lost sight of what was behind them when facing what loomed ahead. When the immediate pressures of the “here and now” threaten to squeeze the very life out of us, do we not react in the same way?
A wise person once said, “If we read the Word, it will read us.” A greater truth could not be spoken. I sensed my thoughts were being discerned while I meditated on verses 18-22 above. The churning in my spirit began to quiet down as I was, once again, reminded of God’s faithfulness and the conversation in my mind began to switch tracks.
Hadn’t he brought my husband out of a 26-day coma, healing his damaged brain when there was no hope of recovery? Didn’t he hear the prayers of so many intercessors around the world who pleaded for Prit’s release from a gang of kidnappers? Hadn’t he healed me instantaneously on my hospital bed in 1985? Hadn’t he always met our most desperate needs as well as the small, insignificant ones? Well, didn’t he?
Once again, I remembered the one who prepared a table in the wilderness for over a million people. I also remembered a people whose clothes and shoes never wore out over a span of forty years. I imagined children dancing around in streams of water that gushed from a rock, laughing as they lapped up the cold, refreshing drink. I tried to imagine too how it would be to watch manna raining down from the sky.
So…it was time to refocus, remember, and rejoice! Never mind that we were now believing God for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Never mind that the bank account empties as quickly as it fills. Never mind that the prices in the marché have increased again. We look forward to not asking “How?”, but exuberantly declaring “Wow!”