“So they (the Israelites) quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moses replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?'” — Exodus 17:2 (NIV84)
I am shocked by the brazen way the Israelites come to Moses with their complaint this time. They didn’t pose a problem in an effort to seek help with a solution. They didn’t ask Moses to petition God on their behalf. No! Instead, they made a flat-out demand from Moses: “Give us water to drink.” You see, Moses (well, the Lord through Moses) had already provided them water, manna, and quail. So now they thought they could demand what they wanted. There was no bit of respect for the position that Moses held. Moses responded immediately: “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” In the end, it wasn’t Moses they were disrespectfully demanding water from. It was the Lord Himself they were testing and disrespecting. Who did they think they were to demand things from the God who had graciously redeemed and saved them?!?!
Wait a minute! I guess that same question could be asked of me. After I read this section, I was convicted that I, too, come to God with demands rather than requests. I come to Him wanting my will fulfilled, regardless of what His will might be. Who do I think I am to demand things of God, when I should be humbly petitioning God for these things? The Lord is not One to be tested. When we do things like this, we are attempting to switch our roles. You see, He is God and Creator; we are human and creature. He rules the heavens and the earth; we are simply His servants. We need to put ourselves in check. We need to be in a right relationship with God, and then we can come to Him with our prayers and petitions, seeking that His will be done in our lives.