Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 3
posted on March 03
Day Three - Friday, March 4
Complaints among the Liberated
Read: Exodus 15:22-27
Bitter Water Made Sweet
22 Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 He cried out to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” (Exodus 15:24)
Reflection: This is not the first complaint lifted up in the wilderness. That happens much earlier in the journey, and many more complaints are forthcoming. The need for food will emerge shortly as Chapter 16 begins. Even when we are seemingly liberated, with the enemy drowned behind us, times are tough. We see people traveling all over the world today, freed from immediate crises but not freed from hunger and thirst and basic needs. When you consider your own freedom, what needs emerge for you as most pressing? Might God be calling you to repent of any pettiness at this time? Today is a time to listen to your own complaints, and to weigh them against the pressing needs of many people in our world.
Prayer: God of the Wilderness, we have so much. Forgive us when we focus upon what we lack, instead of with thanksgiving reflecting upon what we have in excess. Be with all those who travel towards freedom, in every land on earth. Help us to know it is not ours to judge their desire for a better life, and give them what is needed most, right now. And let us hear the words of our own complaints with new ears, and a new conviction. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist