The Exodus story. The story of Moses and the Israelites escaping the captivity of Egypt and entering the freedom of a land promised by God. It is a great story! There is little wonder as to why this story is so well-known, and why there has been so many movies made of this story. It is exciting and entertaining – there is violence, death, a baby in a basket floating down a river, a burning bush that is God, there is blood, frogs, bugs, boils, hail, more bugs, darkness, the famous ‘Passover’ scene, and then of course there is the parting of the Red Sea. It really doesn’t get better than this stuff when it comes to a good story.
Did you know though that all these things happen within the first 14 chapters of the book of Exodus? These events don’t even make up half of the book, there is 40 chapters all together. So, uh, what else happens? Well for those of us doing the Lenten Bible Project reading plan, we will soon find out! I would not want to ruin too much now, but something we see a few times in Exodus – something many of us are quite familiar with – is complaining. The Israelites are often found on their journey to the Promise Land complaining. In our Old Testament passage for this week, found in Exodus 17, this is what we find. The people are traveling through a desert, and they become thirsty. We are told they “quarrel” and “grumble” to Moses, but really to God, who eventually provides the people with water. During this time though, the people have a question – “Is the Lord with us or not?” This a good and appropriate question. A question still relevant today. A question still worth exploring.
Rev. Dan McMullen
Missioner/Deacon, Parishes of Upper Kennebecasis and Hampton