Hey Cherry Hills family!
There is a lot going on in the passages this week: manna from heaven, water from the rock, the 10 Commandments, the tabernacle, and more!
s — Let’s focus on the miracles of manna and water (Ex. 16:1 – 17:7)
o — The people grumble, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt… Why did you bring us up out of the land of Egypt?” the first time decrying their imminent death by hunger, the second time death by thirst. My paraphrase: “Lord, it would have been better to be destroyed by your plagues on a full stomach than dwell with you on an empty belly.” Before they worshipped the golden calf (Ex. 32), they worshipped the god of their gut.
a — This feels far from home to us, perhaps. So, in what way do we recapitulate the sin of Israel in our own lives and culture? Matthew Bates helpfully defines faith as covenant loyalty. We are saved by “allegiance alone”. It is not mere belief-ism, or right doctrine that saves us. Rather, it is faithfulness to the covenanting God. We are called to be iconoclasts, daily choosing to tear down the idols in our lives in preference of the presence of God. It is better to be filled with the Holy Spirit than filled with bread. Only when we consume the true Bread that comes from heaven will we be filled (Jn. 6:49-58) Therefore, let us put away materialism, consumerism, the pursuit of ever-elusive ‘more’ that pulls us away from contentment in the presence of God.
p — Jesus Christ, Bread of Heaven, Living Water, have mercy on our grumbling and hear our cries. Teach us to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to taste and see your goodness, to be nourished by your own self-giving for us. Expose our hearts; make us aware of hidden faults and secret longings. May you form contentment in us, to name and reject our idols of security and comfort and find rest whether we have little or much. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, amen.