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Exodus 15:24 & meaning...


people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”

Exodus 15:24


Exodus 15 [22.] Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink from the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore its name was called Marah. The people murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried to Yahweh. Yahweh showed him a tree, and he threw it into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There he made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there he tested them; and he said, “If you will diligently listen to Yahweh your God’s voice, and will do that which is right in his eyes, and will pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you, which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am Yahweh who heals you.”


This verse occurs shortly after the Israelites have experienced the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, where God delivered them from the pursuing Egyptian army. However, their joy and gratitude quickly give way to fear and complaint as they encounter a new challenge—finding water to drink in the desert.

  • Murmuring Against Moses: 

The Israelites' response to their lack of water is to murmur against Moses. This pattern of complaining and grumbling becomes a recurring theme throughout their journey in the wilderness (Exodus 16:2-3; Numbers 11:1). Their murmuring reveals a lack of trust in God's provision and a tendency to focus on their immediate needs rather than remembering His faithfulness and power displayed in their deliverance from Egypt.

  • Questioning God's Provision: 

In their complaint, the Israelites express doubt and uncertainty about God's ability to provide for their needs. Despite witnessing numerous miraculous signs and wonders, they struggle to trust that God will continue to care for them in the wilderness. Their question, "What shall we drink?" reflects their anxiety and desperation in the face of adversity.

Spiritual Lessons: 

Exodus 15:24 serves as a poignant reminder of the human tendency to doubt God's provision and to grumble in times of difficulty. It highlights the importance of faith and trust in God's faithfulness, even when circumstances seem dire. The Israelites' murmuring serves as a cautionary example for us today, urging us to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and reliance on God's promises.

God's Response: Despite their lack of faith, God responds to the Israelites' complaint with grace and provision. In the following verses (Exodus 15:25-26), God instructs Moses to throw a piece of wood into the bitter waters, miraculously making them sweet and drinkable. This demonstration of God's power and compassion reaffirms His commitment to caring for His people and foreshadows His ongoing provision throughout their wilderness journey.

Application for Today: Exodus 15:24 challenges us to examine our own attitudes and responses in times of difficulty. Do we trust God to provide for our needs, even when circumstances seem bleak? Are we quick to grumble and complain, or do we approach challenges with faith and gratitude? The Israelites' experience serves as a reminder of the importance of cultivating a heart of trust and thankfulness, even in the midst of trials.

In conclusion, Exodus 15:24 captures a moment of doubt and complaint among the Israelites in the wilderness, revealing their struggle to trust in God's provision. Yet, even in their weakness, God remains faithful, demonstrating His power and compassion in meeting their needs. As we reflect on this verse, may we be challenged to cultivate a spirit of faith and gratitude, trusting in God's unwavering faithfulness to provide for us in every circumstance.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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