There was a verse in today’s reading that both shocked me and humbled me. Exodus 17:7, “Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD here with us or not?” (NLT)
Here is why this was so shocking to me. In Exodus 13:21-22 we read, “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” These people were living day and night in the physical, visible presence of God in His shekinah glory in the pillar, 24x7x365 and they are blind. “Is the LORD here with us or not?”
They see themselves. They see their thirst and their physical needs. They see Moses and Aaron. But they don’t see God. How is that even possible?
When they have physical needs, they don’t turn to the source of all power who has saved them and brought them out of Egypt. They turn first to Moses.
But then my eyes were opened to how I act the same way. When I am sick or hurting, I turn first to doctors and medicine. When they are not able to help me, then I turn to God in prayer. I’m walking with God every day and reading His word, but my approach is completely backward. I’m not saying God wouldn’t use a doctor or medicine to help and heal me, He works in both ordinary and miraculous ways, but where am I turning first and where as a last resort?
We foster this blindness even in church. “If anyone is in need of prayer…” Aren’t we all in need of prayer? We need to continue to lift the blindness and see that God is present with us just as He was with the Hebrew people in the wilderness. We should turn to Him first and then allow Him to work in and through whomever He chooses for His glory.
quarreled – accused him of not giving them water to drink
Because he did not now have nor had he ever had power to provide water to drink, only God had that power
Told Moses to go in front of people, take the elders, take the staff, I will stand before you by rock of Horeb, strike the rock adn water will come out of it for the people to drink
Jesus is the provider and source of the living water. He is the rock from which that water flows
3 and none. 15:24 drink, 16:2-3 food, 17:3 drink
Who I turn to first – Israel turned to Moses – I turn to doctors & other people of authority