Numbers 21:10-20 Well Song
Israel is still on the move. We see them traveling through what is called Transjordan.
I have never been very good with these types of records. I want to be able to read where they went, look at a map and be able to see it spelled out. Unfortunately, the world has changed since Israel went out on that journey. The names have changed and many of the places mentioned no longer exist and can’t be pinpointed. In short, no precise map of their journey exists outside of Heaven.
That being said, scholars are still able to make an educated guess by the landmarks God identifies in His word. The route we receive skirts Edom and Moab.
During this portion of their trip God provides a plentiful well for them. I’m curious about their song. Nowhere in it do they credit God for providing it. Did this bother Him? They credit the “princes” and the “nobles of the people” for digging it “with their scepters and with their staffs” (verse 18).
From their song it looks like they had to do some work to bring the water to the surface but it wasn’t regular digging work. I don’t know of any scepter or staff that have a shovel or spade on them. They would be more suited to poking holes in the ground than digging through dirt. Also I don’t see princes or nobles as doing this kind of work. It seems like a job the common man would be tasked with.
So my question here then becomes, did the people dig this well or did God miraculously provide it? Was the water right at the surface and all that was needed was to punch through with the staff? Or did they have to dig a bit before hitting an artesian water system? Either is possible. Either would also be a miracle. God directed Moses as to where to look at the very least.
I’ll take my miracles in whatever flavor they come! But I still think their song should have credited God for His part in this process. We already know that they weren’t the best at doing that though. Maybe God let it slide this time.
To me their song is worshiping the creation and not the Creator. They are singing TO the well. Not to the provider of the well.
God didn’t leave them there with that abundant well. He had them move on again. Before they could become comfortable and pat themselves on the back too much, He moved them out. He was not through with His plan for them. This wasn’t the end of their journey. And on this journey they would be required to depend on Him. He was still growing their faith and the faith of the next generation.
Father God thank You that You do continue to build my faith day by day too. You started with the little things that blew my young mind and continued building in me even to today. There were times in my life too where I looked at the gift instead of the Giver. And many of those times that “gift” either broke, got lost, or lost its luster until I no longer had it. But You never left me. You reminded me of Who gave me the gift to begin with and refocused my attention.
Those are the 20/20 hindsight times for me. I appreciate them more than I can say because they always remind me of Your faithfulness. They also remind me to keep my eyes on You instead of my circumstances. Thank You for the “wells” You have placed in my life. Thank You also for the “wilderness time” that made me appreciate the water a bit more.