Read 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?”

 

From Rev. Jamie Gump, Madison Avenue Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Huntington

Test and Quarrel – that’s what Moses named the place where the Lord provided water from a rock during the wilderness journey following the Exodus.  It’s because the people were squabbling with their leaders and challenging God.  Isn’t it hard to believe the people of God would do that?  It’s not, is it?  For we do the same when we face challenges or difficulties in faith and in life.  Frustration causes us to place blame, to wonder where God is, to wish to go back to a better time, whatever.    We do this in our towns, states, nation, and yes, even in our congregations.  Like the Israelites, we ask, “Is the Lord among us or not?”  Then we receive water from a rock and our thirst is quenched.

 

Gracious God, our questioning comes in spite of the endless blessings we receive from you.

Lord, we believe; help our unbelief.

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