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S (Scripture): Exodus 16:5-7
5 The Lord said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. 6 I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai.b]">[b] Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.
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?”
O (observation): God responds to the people with provision of water out of a place that does not carry water (a rock) - this is a miracle.
A (application): I usually shy away from the Christian testimony of 'testing.' I think the reason is because it is so over used anytime something troubling happens to someone they might use this as a time when 'The Lord was testing me.' However, given the Biblical witness in exodus of testing, it is not God testing us but us testing God. The Israelites again question and grumble against God for this journey they are on....They ask for food and God provides food, they complain of no water and yet God provides water....OUT OF A ROCK NO LESS! In the long journey to freedom, the Israelites question God's presence time and time again. "Is the Lord here with us or not?” Thus the testing/arguing and God's response of provision. As we journey together as a congregation, this question may not come out so simply or so bluntly...yet it is implied. Mistakenly, we might think that God is testing us...as to prove our worth or commitment when actually the opposite is happening. I love that Moses named the place test and arguing. He didn't escape the tension that was being observed in the relationship between God and God's people. As a leader, Moses named it not to have control over the situation but to place it in memory of the journey in exodus. That remembering this time might help us live into the future God has placed on our lives...though we might not yet see its reality.
P (Prayer): God of the Journey, forgive us when we grumble and complain against you. Remind us that you are leading this journey and providing food and drink along the way.