Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 2 Continues

After viewing the wilderness from David ben Gurion's grave, we embarked into the desert where the canyons rise high on both sides and where a stream eventually leads to water pouring from a rock, spilling down several yards and into a pool below. An amazing place to tell the story of Moses and his drawing of water from a rock ...

As expected, the cries of delight from my travel-mates was music to my ears. Miriam had turned me on to this Negev beauty in 2007 ... now I was sharing it with others. Every so often, I'd turn back to see one of the other reporters staring up at the canyon walls ... or enjoying the play of the ibex nearby.

The weather was warm, the shade a respite. But one cannot stand still long in Ein Avdat (the spring of Avdat). One is drawn by the water and its source, which is -- from what I read -- still open for scientific debate. Just what causes the water to spill from the rock -- could it be rainfall that builds up until there is no where else to go but out? -- is up for interpretation.

I say that perhaps Moses left the tap on. And, of course, I say this with a smile.

I heard someone say, "I'm staying here. Come back and get me in a few days." I wish I could now remember who. Perhaps it was Robi ... Tempting, yes, I think. But then that would mean missing the beauty that is the rest of Israel. No such doing! Not here. Not today!

What stands out at me as I read these verses of Scripture and as I stand in the canyon looking at the water and the rock is that the people didn't grumble against God. They grumbled against Moses. No good deed goes unpunished. Moses has led them out of physical captivity, but they'd rather have that than be thirsty.

Water From A Rock
Exodus 17

1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink."
Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?"

3 But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?"

4 Then Moses cried out to the LORD, "What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me."

5 The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

New Thoughts

This leads to two new thoughts.

1. That leaders are often called to go forward while everyone else grumbles behind them and with only what they have in their hand. In Moses' case, it was a staff. Moses had already seen that with the staff in his hand, God proved faithful.

2. How like the early Hebrews I am. Jesus brought me out of captivity ... yet sometimes I actually look back and yearn for the days when everything was about "me." Walking the path of God is not always easy. It's filled with awe and wonder and miracles abound, but it's not easy. Eventually the path becomes familiar; we know what to expect. Still, the rocks can be difficult to climb.

One thing is for sure. The Rock doesn't move. I'll show you how I know ... tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment