Sometimes when reading the Old Testament, I feel sorry for the Israelites. Imagine being the guinea pigs, in a manner of speaking, with all of your obvious failures laid bare for everyone to read and disparage afterward for thousands of years. It is so tempting to read their story of freedom from slavery and wonder why they were so obnoxious in the desert, forgetting that WE REACT THE SAME EXACT WAY when troubles arise.

During enslavement, did they begin to build expectations for what freedom would look like or feel like? It probably would not look like going from dependence (on Egyptians for favor, food, etc) to dependence (on God). We read of them going three days into the desert and then grumbling about water. Why did they wait three days?? Surely they felt thirsty before then. Did they imagine that it would just appear? Did they imagine going immediately to a lush land of plenty?

After they finally begin asking for water, and God provides it, another need appears. And a pattern emerges. 

Maybe some of us have learned from their example.. Perhaps we do ask God for provisions rather than forgetting to ask Him at all.

When we do remember to ask God, are we asking the God who has not? Or asking the God who can?

When we ask the God who has not, the recognition that He is the God who can is inherent in the position. But the stance is, “You are able to, why haven’t you done this yet??” And of course, sometimes He has not, because we have not even asked, as the Israelites did not appear to even think of asking God for water during the three days.

When we ask the God who can, we recognize his ability AS WELL AS the fact that his provision may not look like our expectations. Perhaps we are looking for protection in a dangerous situation, or justice, and imagine police protection being granted or a case in our favor in the court system, but it does not happen. As with the Israelites, is it possible that God is providing in ways we can’t imagine? Even in situations where it appears to be too late, God is NEVER done working. Maybe He provides supernatural protection or justice outside of the courts.

This is not an attempt at an answer of why God appears to not do certain things. It is simply a reminder to evaluate our stance before the One who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think. What do we do in trials when our dependence is evident, but the provision is not?

We keep asking the God who can.

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