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Exodus 17:1-7 (NIV)
Water From the Rock
17 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” 3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” 4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
That last line is something we struggle with on a daily basis. “Is the Lord among us or not?” In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is called “Immanuel” which means “God is with us” and after the Resurrection Jesus says, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 1:23; 28:20). But like the Israelites, this life often feels like a desert. We wonder if we are really safe or if things really will turn out alright. But that is the heart of faith. We have seen and heard what God has done. The death and resurrection of Jesus was a historical event that has huge implications for the way we live. Jesus has shown us that God does have the power to grant resurrection and life. But are we willing to come to the cross and die with Christ in order to receive it? Do we trust that God’s mercy and grace will be enough? Can the “rock” of Christ Jesus really quench our thirsty souls? That is what He promises to do now and forever.