A call to praise (Numbers 21:17-18)
Thirsty. If there was any hope for survival, they would need to find water. But where does a good leader find water for millions of nomads in the middle of the desert? The multitudes began to groan and grumble. Finally, there was talk of reformation: perhaps it was time for a new leader, one who could bring them back to the “glory days”.
They had battled their way through resisting neighbors, expending every remaining resource. And for what? To end up here, dying of thirst?
This is the tale of two nations: one from the Bible, the other from CNN headlines. Though centuries apart, they share a common requisite: a life-giving well.
The story-of-old paints the scene as destitute. Years after a successful exodus, morale was beginning to fade. The nation was made up of grandchildren who relied on verbal tradition to fuel their patriotism. The stories were enough to rally them through war. But after years of nomadic pursuits with only manna to nourish them, impatience for the good life was swollen.
Now there is a modern day analogy of these aimless peoples entrapped by infertile desert. More than 7 million people make Libya their home, with more than 90% of them pressed against the coastline seeking the country’s only reliable source of moisture. But as their fresh water sources deplete, they turn to their leader for answers. Unfortunately, Gaddafi is too busy manipulating his own legacy to address the issues of his nation’s survival. His oppression and violence drains his people, 50% of which are under the age of 18, of all loyalties. His disregard for their welfare fuels their revolution.
But this particular population dons an even more pretentious thirst unmatched by their Biblical counterpart: over 99.9% of them have no knowledge of “the Only Living Water”. Convinced that their Great Prophet will bestow on them his favor, they wage war to remove their leader and aim to institute a government that mirrors their middle-eastern rivals. Meanwhile, Believers, prohibited from so much as visiting the country, stand at the border with aid and news of Divine Refreshment.
As though watching from the lush side of a glass wall, Believers cry out for prayer on behalf of the desiccated trapped on the other side. There are some willing to go in with the Good News right now. At a critical point in the country’s transition, the opportunity for news of a Savior is ripe. Now is the time for The Church to petition the Father for an open door.
But what if our Biblical counterparts offer an additional method of entry? What if instead of only asking, we start praising?
From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the Lord said to Moses,
“Gather the people together and I will give them water”.
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. (Num 21:17-18 NIV)
Empowered by the promise given to Moses, the Israelites started singing a song of praise! As they were digging, they thanked the Lord for the water He promised to provide. And lo and behold, they drank.
Ask anyone assigned to work among those Behind the Veil; God has a heart to restore these people unto Himself. The opposition these workers encounter testifies to the Enemy’s fear of losing a foothold among Islamic nations, which should only serve to fuel our resolve to reach them.
Now is the time to start digging a Well in Libya. Let us begin by singing a song of Praise to the One who has promised them, and us, Living Water.