There are two aisles in our small-town grocery store that are devoted to drinks. The shelves are weighed down with Coke and Pepsi products. Diet drinks, power drinks, flavored drinks, vitamin water, bottled water, distilled water – the variety is amazing. However, there is still nothing as refreshing as drinking cold, clear water right from the stream. Perhaps those days are gone. “Beaver Fever” and pollution have ruined those sources of refreshment, but I remember canoeing in Arkansas on a summer day. It was hot work, but all you had to do was lean over the side and drink your fill from the river. I remember countless times drinking from the streams that sprang directly from a snowfield.
Water is essential to life. Scientists tell us we are made up of mostly water. Without it, we would die in a matter of days.
Now turn your imagination to ancient Egypt: the land of the Nile. For the first of the Ten Plagues, Moses struck the river in front of Pharaoh with his staff, and the water turned into blood. The fish died. The water stank and no one could drink from it. Can you imagine the children returning to their mothers with a bucket of blood? Can you see the people rushing to the riverbank and then pulling back in horror? “What has happened?” But “Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened” (Exodus 7:22). In desperation, for the next seven days, the people dug for water. That gave them enough time to change the question from “What has happened?” to “Why has this happened?” That is a far more important question for us to ask. Think about it. “Why are these things happening to me?”