17 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?
3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
4 And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
5 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?
K.J.V. Bible Text
The Israelites journeyed thought the wilderness of Sin, and pitched their tents in Rephidim and there was no water.
The people chided Moses and told him to give them water; whereupon Moses asked them why they were tempting the Lord. But the people were thirsty and they accused Moses of bringing them out of Egypt to kill them with thirst.
Just as Moses always did, he went to the Lord to inquire what to do with the people. And just as when he had fed the people, the Lord also provided water for them.
The Lord told Moses to go to a rock in Horeb and smite the rock and that He would be there to cause water to come out of it. The place where smiting the rock created a spring was called Massah and Meribah because it was there the children of Israel chided Moses and tempted the Lord. (Each time a place is named for a happening at the place, I sincerely wish I knew the ancient Hebrew language so I could truly understand the nature of the name.)
There is one clear message we can take away from today’s reading. The Lord continued to stay with the Israelite children and to take care of them even though they continued to fail in faith.
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