Reading: Exodus 17:1-7
More mumbling and grumbling. Add some moaning and arguing. Moses, we’re out of water. Why did you bring us out here? At least in Egypt we had food and water.
What is Moses to do? Turn to God. What else could he do? God to the rescue. Strike the rock with your staff, Moses. There you go—water.
Here’s what I like about this passage. At the end Moses names the place: test and quarrel. Maybe we should have a place where we can go when we’re not happy with God. A designated place where it is okay to quarrel with God. No questions asked. I think that would be a helpful place. Because, look what happened—Israel got water! I know, it’s not good to test God. (I’m writing this the day before the first Sunday in Lent-the Gospel reading is the temptation of Jesus.) But, isn’t there a difference between testing and quarreling? A test would be, if you give me water, God, I’ll become a missionary. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. A good quarrel doesn’t hurt anything.
Here’s what I think we find at the end of a quarrel with God: "The Lord liveth, and blessed be the rock and may the God of our salvation be exalted!" (From the camp song, "I Will Call Upon the Lord.") --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff.
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