People who live in places with abundant water may not understand practically what it means to have no water in a very warm environment. The craving for drinking water and for bathing is second only to the craving we have for air we breathe.

It is in the desert where one can set the right value of water. Every drop is as precious as gold.

If you have never craved for water, especially for drinking and/or bathing, I want you to picture yourself in a warm environment. You are sweating profusely and there is no water; you have been this way for three days.

Then, all of a sudden, you come to a place where there is abundant water, you would definitely not want to leave that place.

Against the foregoing background, we understand how we may not be so quick to accuse the Israelites for camping at Elim. We read the following:

Then they [Israelites] came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water (Exodus 15:27 NIV).

Despite all the “understanding” we must render to this situation, these people were not expected to camp but to leave the waters of Elim and venture into the dryness of the wilderness. It was only by doing this that they would finally come to the Promised Land.

What a teaching for us today! Maybe we have, “understandably”, been camping our lives around certain “very essential things” when we are expected to break away into the “wilderness” in pursuit of God’s promises—His best for us.

We can choose to be content with the “oasis” when there is a “stream” flowing with the best that life can need just beyond the desert.


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