Weekly Deposit – Exodus 17:2b

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

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By Mike Caton

Exodus 17:2b, “Moses replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?’”

It is easy, when you are the target of people’s attacks, complaints, whining and so forth, to take those things personally. Good leaders love their folks, they want the best for them. I’m sure Moses wanted the best for those Israelites; plenty of food and water, safety as they travel, protection from their enemies, easy paths to walk, and so forth. And I’m also sure Moses was just as thirsty as anyone in the camp, he knew the water situation better than they did, and he was not just worried about himself or his family, Moses had the entire community to be concerned about. And yet, he’s the very person they are complaining against.

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And don’t forget, God has called Moses as the leader, and it was through Moses that God had provided the manna and the quail. He realizes he is an easy target. But his response to them is classic. Do you think Moses came up with this all on his own? Or do you think God revealed this to Moses? Or maybe there was a combination. And we ought to think about what Moses told those folks.

Moses asks them why he is quarreling with him? Moses knows, and the people have to as well, that he cannot provide water for all of them. The one they are really grumbling about, complaining against, questioning is God himself. You see, the question is not whether Moses can give them water, the question is can God give them water. The answer is very simple: Moses cannot. God can! And instead of blaming others, we need to look to God and the resources that he provides.

Father, help me realize you provide my needs. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.