And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"Do you ever press your hand on a chair before you sit to test and see if it will hold you? You probably don’t do that with a chair you use every day. But if the chair was new to you and you weren’t used to it, you might test it.
The people of God were freed from slavery in Egypt by miraculous signs and wonders. They were well aware of the plagues that made the Egyptians welcome their departure. They watched how God parted the Red Sea so they could cross, and they saw the army following them die as the walls of water closed on them. Time after time, God showed his strength in their protection, his care for them in his provision, and his patience when they grumbled.
When the people came to Massah in the desert, they grumbled that God wasn’t taking care of them, but had led them into the desert to die of thirst. The complained against God saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
It’s as if they took a chair that had been used a lot recently and pressed their hand onto it to see if it was still strong enough for them. It was silly of them to question God after all they’d been through. They had tested his patience once more, but not for the last time.
Do we have any right to question God? We can see his wonders in the Bible. We can look with awe all around us in the Earth and see what he’s created. We can read about the millions of people who have experienced God’s miracles in recent years.
We have less of a right to question God than the Hebrew people in the book of Exodus.
But we still test God and he’s still patient with us.
He would love to see us go to that chair and just sit, knowing that if it has been strong for all of the people who have come before us, it’ll hold us as well. He’s waiting to see who will have faith in him instead of wondering if he’s still strong enough.
He’s strong enough for you to rely on. He always will be.