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Daily Devotions – Water from the Rock

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

Exodus 17:1-7 (ESV)

Water from the Rock

17 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

In last Sunday’s sermon, we learned about God providing a miraculous food for the Israelites called manna. You might have thought that after this experience, they would be grateful, and more willing to trust God. That was not the case. Not long after, God leads them to a place called Rephidim, where there was no water. Instead of trusting God to provide, the people grumbled and quarreled. They were so angry that Moses feared for his life. God eventually provides water from a rock for the people, but a bad pattern is emerging. No matter how many miracles God does, the Israelites turn from God as soon as things get tough. We can learn several things from this. God sometimes allows us to experience challenges and need, in order to help us learn to trust him. (see Ex. 16:4)  So, when we face trials and challenges, we should not complain that God has forgotten us. Instead, let us pray with confidence, saying, “Lord, I don’t know how you will provide, but I trust that you will, and I look forward to seeing what you will do!”