There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
We saw again yesterday that in the Christian life there are ‘mountains’ and ‘valleys.’ Thinking in terms of the Joseph story, we can say that there may come patterns of famine and abundance. Not long after experiencing their water shortage, the children of Israel came to a place of water a-plenty.
We need to recognise that the ‘seasons’ will change, and choose to trust God in them all.
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-13)
It may sometimes be easier to deal with want than with plenty. May God give us grace to steward wisely whatever we have in whatever season we find ourselves.
(‘If life were nothing but tests, we would be discouraged. If life were all pleasure, we would never learn discipline or develop character. The Lord knows how to balance the experiences of life, for He brought His people to Elim where they found plenty of water and opportunity for rest. Let’s be grateful that the Lord gives us enough blessings to encourage us and enough burdens to humble us, and that He knows how much we can take.’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘Old Testament Commentary’, p.171).