Monday, June 18, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Exodus 17:1-6
The Lord answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. (Exodus 17:5,6)
 The people of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years as God led them through the desert until they reached the promise land. During this time, He was using his servant, Moses, to guide them and teach them His Law that would be handed down through the generations. The people were led by clouds of smoke and pillars of fire. They witnessed the Glory of God many times during this journey as a community. Yet they quarreled with God and tested Him relentlessly. God had just given them the miracle of Manna in the previous chapter of Exodus, so that they had an endless supply of bread to nourish them.
A grumbling people, forgetting God's grant plan on their life: The Israelites just like us today, were not satisfied with what they had been given already, but instead, they were paralyzed with the thought of what they did not have. Water is an essential commodity, especially in the desert, but they forgot the great things that God had done for them. The body's thirst for water overshadowed their faith in God's providence. He had a grand plan for them, He did not bring them out of bondage for them to die of thirst in the desert, but instead of trusting God, they complained. Moses pleaded that they do not test Adonai, but feared for his life as the people's impatience grew. Moses cried out to God in supplication, and as always, the Lord answered Him.
Moses — walking ahead of the people:God instructed Moses to "walk ahead of the people". Moses was not naturally equipped with the gift of leadership, but God showed him the way. He taught Moses to preserve his safety and faith by removing himself from the crowd that was threatening him. The Lord said to Moses, "I will stand before you..." He wanted to show the people of Israel his Mercy by answering their needs, despite their lack of faith. God made water flow from a rock in the desert, enough to satisfy the entire tribe of Israel and their flocks. The elders were to witness the miracle they had seen to their people. This was not to be the last time he would supply his people with water either. Moses named the place where he struck the rock at Horeb, Massah and Meribah, meaning temptation and quarrel. Our God is a God of compassion and infinite patience, providing for them although they were undeserving. God upheld Moses as the leader of the Israelites in front of the elders of the people that wanted to harm him, because he feared the Lord.
Moses' quest to deliver his People has often been compared to the story of Jesus and His trials amongst the same people many years later. Like Moses, Jesus was sent to deliver a new Law of redemption. Like Moses, Jesus nourished his people with food and water while nourishing their souls by teaching them about the love of God.
Oh Lord, who flowed water from a desert rock, help us to remember to bring our needs to you in faith, knowing you can do all things. Amen
Where God leads he provides.