All right, I'll be honest--the job search is getting a bit discouraging. So is my current financial situation. But the Lord reminded me last night that He always provides what His people need. I've been reading in the Old Testament, and in the past couple days I've covered the part where Israel leaves Egypt and starts wandering around the wilderness. Again and again, when it seems completely hopeless, God provides for them in miraculous ways. And again and again, the Israelites display their unbelief. It's easy to blame them for their unbelief (and of course it was sin for them not to believe God), but it's humbling to realize how much unbelief is in my own life. I think I may even be worse than the Israelites!
In Exodus 14, Israel is trapped between the Red Sea and the advancing Egyptian army, seemingly with no escape route. They panic. (And, humanly speaking, who wouldn't?) They accuse Moses of bringing them to the wilderness to die; but then God miraculously parts the Red Sea, allows the Israelites to pass through on dry ground, and drowns the Egyptians. Moses and the people sing praise to God in the beginning of chapter 15.
Then what happens? In Exodus 15:22, Israel goes for three days without finding water in the wilderness. Instead of trusting the God who has just protected them from the Egyptians, they begin whining again--"What shall we drink?" (v. 24b, ESV). They get to Marah, where there's water--but it's bitter. So God has Moses throw a tree into the water to make it sweet. God provides again, in spite of Israel's unbelief.
This passage also displays God's mercy--instead of punishing Israel for their unbelief, in 15:27, He brings them "to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees" (ESV).
Exodus 15:13 (ESV)--"You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them them by your strength to your holy abode."