"For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you." Isaiah 48:9
Text: Exodus 17 : 6-7
FULL OBEDIENCE TO THE LORD
Moses returned to speak to the hostile children of Israel, full of strength and confidence! He made sure that he did everything as he was instructed.
“And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
WATER FROM A ROCK
Before an unbelieving crowd, in the presence of all the elders, Moses lifted up the rod which he had been using all along to perform all the miracles, and struck the rock! What an imposing figure he cut! To the great astonishment of the people, water gushed out from the rock!
It is interesting to note what the apostle Paul had to say on the matter of “the Rock”. Let us ponder the following text he wrote to the Corinthian church.
“All ate the same spiritual food,
and all drank the same spiritual drink.
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them,
and that Rock was Christ.”
1 CORINTHIANS 10:3-4
What an insight we have from the apostle Paul! The Lord Jesus Christ was with the children of Israel even in those early days! The food and water supplies came from a supernatural or spiritual source!
SETTLING A VITAL ISSUE
A more important issue than water supplies was settled! Beneath the rumbling of the people was a strong current of unbelief that the Lord was truly with them! The faith that Moses proclaimed was trust in an invisible God! How different from the faith of the Egyptians! They placed their faith in gods they could see – powerful looking idols!
“So he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah,
because of the contention of the children of Israel,
and because they tempted the LORD, saying,
‘Is the LORD among us or not?'”
“Massah and Meribah”
Moses gave a good symbolic name to the region. The place was called “Temptation and Contention”. The children of Israel must not take sin so lightly!
“Is the LORD among us or not?”
It seems strange that this question should even be raised at all! Had not the Lord proven Himself again and again that He was with His people? How merciful and gracious He was to withhold His anger from an offensively unbelieving people! Would this basic lesson of faith in God be settled forever?