Water from the Rock

April 6, 2022 in Today's Worship by TGV

Exodus 17: Worship Guide/ 2-BSG-17A, (Exodus 17:1-7)/ Theme: Water from the Rock/ Hymn: All the Way my Savior leads Me (SDAH 516)


Exploration: Testing the LORD, [Heb. Nacah], “to put to the test, try, or tempt.” – (read Ex. 17:7; Deut. 6:16; Ps. 78:20; 95:8-9; Heb 3:8-9).

Reflection: This chapter deals with ‘more grumbling’ and Water shortages at Massah-Meribah. “Massah” means “proof/ to test,” and “Meribah” means “contention, quarreling.” The congregation of Israel contends with Moses (1–4); God tells Moses how water will be provided (5–6); Moses names the place as a rebuke to Israel (7). In the last section of the chapter, God brings victory to Israel over the Amalekites (8–16).

Israel journeyed from the Wilderness of Sin and came to Rephidim. Rephidim is the last stop before reaching Sinai, which is nearby (Ex. 19:2). In yesterday’s lesson (Ex. 16), we saw how God instituted a feeding program: He lovingly fed His people with tender care for 40 years (Ex. 16:35). He gave them Manna. We also briefly saw how the cessation of this Manna on the seventh day reminded Israel of Sabbath’s sacredness (Ex. 16:25–27). Unfortunately, this chapter continues the theme of grumbling. This is the last story in this trio of grumbling but undoubtedly the most serious. The language of verse 2 suggests ‘a heated exchange” – Israel is accusing Moses of water shortage! The people rebelled against Jehovah when they thirsted, charging that Moses had brought them [out of Egypt] into the wilderness ‘to kill them by thirst’ (Ex. 17:2, 3).

Devotional Implication: Note that Israel complained about water at the beginning of their journey and 40 years later at the end (Num. 20:1–13). Was God aware of the water problem at Rephidim? Yes! “God knew of the lack of water at Rephidim, and He brought His people hither to test their faith, but how poorly they proved themselves to be a people whom He could trust!” — (Reflecting Christ, p. 353). Moses is just a messenger – (and they know that) – but instead of trusting the LORD, they opt to vent their frustration to Moses. It is interesting to note that grumbling was Israel’s default response to all crises in the wilderness (Ex 15:24; 16:2; 17:3; Num 14:2; 16:11, 41). Beloved, how easy it is to blame others for our mistakes! Instead of taking responsibility, we point fingers, start whining, and even blame God for our actions.

How does God respond? — “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at [Mount] Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah [proof] and Meribah [contention] because of the faultfinding of the Israelites and because they tempted and tried the patience of the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us or not?” (Exodus 17:6–7, AMP) Once again, the LORD supplied the water to meet the people’s needs and livestock (Ps. 78:15–16; 105:41; 114:8; Isa. 48:21). This is indeed a gracious, loving, and forgiving God who meets His people’s needs even amidst complaints and grumbling! The Rock was a type of Jesus Christ, smitten for us, on the cross of Calvary (1 Cor. 10:4).

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—because He does. What does the LORD say to me this morning? My son, Israel’s sin was not their desire for water but their attitude toward Me: they had hard, rebellious, unbelieving hearts that wouldn’t submit to My will. Before this incident, I had already demonstrated that I could provide water (Ex. 15:25), meat (Ex. 16:13), and bread (Ex. 16:15), but sadly, the people were quick to resist Moses’ leadership and doubt My providential care. Despite Israel’s very negative response to their circumstances (Ex. 17:3–4), I responded graciously and gave them water and later granted them victory over the enemy, the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8–16). How often have you complained about your circumstances and failed to trust Me? Oh, that you come to Me (by faith and repentance) and be saved! Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – 1. Stop doubting God’s providential care – (in His way and timing); 2. Stop blaming others for my failures (sins) and start being responsible – (repentance/ obedience to God); 3. Refrain from quarreling, whining, contention, grumbling – (Jam 5:9; Phil. 2:14), and testing the LORD (1 Cor 10:9, 10, 11).

Have A Blessed Day: “Behold, He struck the rock so that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” (Psalm 78:20, NKJV) – (cf. Ps. 78:15–16; 105:41; 114:8; Isa. 48:21)


Worship Through Singing: All the Way my Savior leads Me (SDAH 516)

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell;
For I know whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me;
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living bread;
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul a-thirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo, a spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me;
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above,
When I wake to life immortal,
Wing my flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages,
Jesus led me all the way.

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