Water from the Rock
Read Exodus 17:1-7.
God appointed Moses as the leader He would use to guide the people from Egypt to the Promised Land. We should not forget, however, that Moses had to deal with his own human weaknesses. He had been run out of Egypt as a young man for pulling an Egyptian off an Israelite, killing him, and concealing the body. He had a temper and had allowed it to get the best of him at times.
The children of Israel camped at Rephidim, but there was a problem. Once again, there was no water.
In spite of how God had miraculously provided for them on their journey, the Israelites started yelling at Moses, “We need water!”
Moses responded to them in a similar way, “Quiet! Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the Lord?”
Two different questions – “Why are you complaining against me?” and “Why are you testing the Lord?”
One Problem with Being the Leader
The confrontation at Rephidim illustrates one of the problems with being the leader. If you are the leader, even a God-appointed leader like Moses was, you often become a target when someone’s expectations are not met. Moses was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing and he was getting yelled at.
Leaders must accept that situation as part of their responsibility. Leaders can be moving forward, keeping the goal in mind, knowing that it is the best thing for the people he is leading – and someone will gripe because they got a cherry popsicle and their friend got banana, or their seat was too hard (or soft), or the McDonalds ran out of biscuits just before they ordered. Who gets blamed? Many times, the leader gets blamed, whether the situation was under his control or not.
Moses was exasperated, but he went to the Lord for guidance. God told him what to do. Moses struck a rock and God caused water to gush out if it. The people had water.
Moses gave the place two names – Massah (“test”) and Meribah (“arguing”). Interesting that he didn’t name the place something like “Water from the Rock.”
Kinda’ shows you where his mind may have been.
Moses said the people were arguing with him and testing God. How did they test God?
How do we test God?