In our Numbers reading today we see the people of Israel complaining - again! God's people are full of doubts. They don't have a steadfast confidence that their Lord is going to supply all their needs. There's this nagging thought that they have been brought out into the wilderness so as to die. It doesn't matter to them that God has proven himself again and again. It doesn't matter to them that the Lord has given his promises in the past. It doesn't matter to them that the Lord has shown an ability to provide for their physical needs again and again. The people still doubt. I can imagine this seems familiar. God's people are doubting to this very day. We doubt our Lord's good will toward us. We doubt his ability to care for us into eternity. Even more so, we doubt his ability to provide our daily needs. We doubt his wisdom in calling us to the tasks he has given us. We doubt his word where he says he will be with us. We doubt his concern for our communities as we try to find a new and different message to bring to our culture. We're a huge bundle of doubts.
Let's cap that rehearsal of sin off with what Moses does. He has the audacity to as if he needed to supply water, then he beats on the rock to which the Lord had told him to speak. Here's a serious grab for authority.
It's time now to look at God's very serious lovingkindness. See how he not only keeps Moses working for him and serving him until the time he is ready to take the people into Canaan, but he also provides the water the nation needs. Despite all the sin which has been raised up before him, our Lord still cares for his people. He has pity on us. He provides what we need. How much greater a gift is that provision when it comes from the God whom we have just insulted and offended! What wonderful mercy we find in our Lord.
Lord, we pray you would grant us repentance of all the times we have sinned against you. Show us the forgiveness you have provided, like the water which was overabundant for your people, your forgiveness overflows, exceeding the weight of our sin. Let us rejoice in your forgiveness. Grant us a changed heart that we may be grieved by our sin and ever seek the forgiveness you grant.