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Exodus 17:1-7, Water from the Rock

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

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.”
— Exodus 17:3-4

NL Daily Devotion for Thursday, October 4, 2018

 pouting child image

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Complain, complain, complain!

The Israelites were all about complaining. They were experts, in fact. But one of the wonderful aspects about the Hebrew Bible is that all of the human characters are so wonderfully . . . human.

The champions of faith, those individuals who would become the ancestors for all the people of Israel (including Jesus) would come out of this stock of annoyed people.

The wonderful gift we see in today’s story is that God was willing to work with the people, despite their crabby, thankless behavior. They were thirsty, and Moses was to provide for them—in a desert of all places.

So what does God do? God provides. Despite their testing and their quarreling, God still gives. It stands to reason, that after undergoing such trials Israel could be a little more thankful, no?

The same applies for us. We can be a little more humble and thankful, even when not everything goes our way.

Food (or water?) for thought, no?


Narrative Lectionary Daily 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 quarreled 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 quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

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