Friday, April 1: Exodus 17- God is steady in His love.

Two stories from the desert dominate this chapter.

First, Israel quarrels with Moses and whines against God because they were thirsty and had no water.

It hit me as I read this passage how human the Israelites are. When I am in pain or am hungry/thirsty or emotionally down, I do not function at my best. I am more irritable, selfish, whiny etc. My observation is that this is generally true for most of us humans.

This is not an excuse for the Israelites and their faithless actions, but it does offer a bit of human insight into their actions.

God absorbs their sinfulness, and directs Moses to an action that miraculously brings water from a rock. Moses then names the place Massah and Meribah, memorializing their faithlessness and quarreling, providing a life-lesson for Israel.

The next story is the attack of the Amalekites and God’s defense of Israel. As Joshua fights Moses lifts his hands, likely as a sign of prayer. When his hands are up Joshua wins, down and they lose. So as the fight grows long two men help Moses keep his hands in the air and Israel ultimately wins.

This part of the story reminds me how much we need friends and companions and helpers to stay faithful. Also, how we all need to do our part for the group to succeed… some fought, some prayed, some helped and encouraged.

As my reading came to an end I had an overarching thought. God is faithful. He gave water from the rock and victory in battle. And the Lord didn’t hold a grudge from one event to the next.

This last thought brought me great comfort. I am not consistent in my faithfulness. Some days I am more or less faithful than others. And yet the Lord is consistently faithful. He is always there for me. He doesn't play passive aggressive games; He is steady in His love and care!

This thought brought great comfort to me this morning. I serve, very imperfectly, an incredible loving, caring, faithful God. And my heart warmed and praises flowed at this thought.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghosts. Amen and amen.


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