The entire Israelite community left the Wilderness of Sin, moving from one place to the next according to the Lord’s command. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.2 So the people complained to Moses, “Give us water to drink.”“Why are you complaining to me?” Moses replied to them. “Why are you testing the Lord?”3 But the people thirsted there for water and grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you ever bring us up from Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”4 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What should I do with these people? In a little while they will stone me!”5 The Lord answered Moses, “Go on ahead of the people and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Take the staff you struck the Nile with in your hand and go. 6 I am going to stand there in front of you on the rock at Horeb; when you hit the rock, water will come out of it and the people will drink.” Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He named the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites complained, and because they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
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God’s provision often comes from the unlikeliest source.
Complaints had reached a feverish pitch. The elders of Israel stared at Moses as mutinous imaginations bubbled to the surface of the minds. Some younger men in the crowd, with their feet, loosened fist-size rocks with from their earthy bed. A few of them already wielded stones with white-knuckled grasp. Moses felt their gaze burrowing into his back, and their complaints filled his ears. All Moses could think was, water from a rock? Nevertheless, he trusted Yahweh’s instructions.
After wiping the sweat from his brow, Moses stretched the rod of God to the heavens bringing it down on the rock with an echoing crack. The mob of mad Hebrews winced at the deafening blow. The murmuring slowly halted. In the silent moment, the sound of water grew from a faint trickle to a gushing crescendo of living water. God had given the provision of water from the unlikeliest source. Life-sustaining water flowed from a rock.
In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul affirms that the rock “was Christ.” Who would have considered a carpenter born of seeming scandal in Bethlehem, raise a Nazarene, would build a bridge to glory? Can anything good come from Nazareth? Jesus of Nazareth was struck for us. From His suffering, flows living water for all that believe. Some may wonder why God chose this method, but He delights in using the unlikeliest means to accomplish His will. Have you drunk from the Fount, which is Christ?
Lord, thank you for Christ’s sacrifice. Help me to realize today that my help may come from the unlikeliest source. In Jesus Name, Amen.
In the Word Together is a devotional blog series based on the Narrative Lectionary that aims to aid in daily devotions. Unless stated, all posts are written by Kevin W. Bounds. Necessary attributions are as follows:
Christian Standard Bible – Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Narrative Lectionary –The Narrative Lectionary (http://www.narrativelectionary.org) is an open-source project created by Profs. Rolf Jacobson and Craig Koester, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.
Daily Readings for the Narrative Lectionary – Copyright © 2018 Clergy Stuff