Reading: Exodus 17:1-7
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarrelled with Moses, and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ 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 complained against Moses and said, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.’ Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled and tested the Lord, saying, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’
Everyone knows that water doesn’t come from rocks, especially in the middle of the desert, but when God’s people had need, it did.
Real need. Moses makes it sound as though the Israelites are just being whiny, but that’s not true. While humans can survive a month or more without food, we would die in less than a week without water. I say I need coffee, and without it I would certainly be unpleasant but without water the Israelites will perish.
So, in the wilderness, God makes water spring from a rock. God provides for the Israelites. God’s children continue to have needs: material, emotional, spiritual. Sometimes, help come from the least expected places. How has God provided for you this week?
Provider God, thank you for all the ways that you continue to meet our needs. Help us to have grateful hearts and provide for others as you have provided for us.