Then Israel sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Sing about it, about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank— the nobles with scepters and staffs.” Then they went from the wilderness to Mattanah. – Numbers 21:17-18
Singing about the well seems to be an interesting turnaround for the Israelites. They have become adept at complaining and pining to go back to the relative comfort and familiarity of Egypt. Even though with that comfort and familiarity comes enslavement. Here they sing about a well which was provided by earthly rulers.
The Israelites give credit for the well not to God but to the “princes” and “nobles” with their staffs and scepters. This is an active turning away from the leadership and provision of the God who sees them. Why is it easier for the Israelites to give thanks and credit to earthly rulers than to God? Is it easier for me to give thanks for things than the giver of those things? If I am honest I have to admit that it is sometimes easier to be thankful for things than the giver of those things. God rarely shows up in a tangible way, yet he is there. Perhaps we desire for God to show up in a more tangible way.
I remember a movie that came out in the 70’s called “O God” where God did show up in the form of George Burns — who was about as old as God. The movie also featured John Denver, who was perhaps better known for his singing than his acting. George Burn’s version of God was interestingly “edgy”, but he portrayed a God who deep down loves and cares for each one of us. Which I think is consistent with the God I know as well. Here is a quote from George Burns as God in the movie:“I know how hard it is in these times to have faith. But maybe if you could have the faith to start with, maybe the times would change. You could change them. Think about it. Try. And try not to hurt each other. There’s been enough of that. It really gets in the way. I’m a God of very few words and Jerry’s already given you mine. However hopeless, helpless, mixed up and scary it all gets, it can work. If you find it hard to believe in me, maybe it would help you to know that I believe in you.”
I agree that God believes in us and it is up to us to follow Him regardless of where it leads. He believes in us even when we are not sure we believe in Him! How amazing is that!
Prayer: God thank you that you believe in us. Help me to give thanks for You and for all things.SDG