October 25, 2017
Surviving the Wilderness
Read: Exodus 17:1-7
The message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith
of those who obeyed.—Hebrews 4:2
In the 1960s, the Kingston Trio released a song called “Desert Pete.” The ballad
tells of a thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to
it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink the water in the jar
left there but to use its contents to prime the pump.
The cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs.
In reward for his obedience, he receives an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had
he not acted in faith, he would have had only a jar of unsatisfying, warm water to
This reminds me of Israel’s journey through the wilderness. When their thirst became
overwhelming (Ex. 17:1–7), Moses sought the Lord. He was told to strike the rock of
Horeb with his staff. Moses believed and obeyed, and water gushed from the stone.
Sadly, Israel would not consistently follow Moses’s example of faith. Ultimately,
“the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the
faith of those who obeyed” (Heb. 4:2).
Sometimes life can seem like an arid desert. But God can quench our spiritual thirst
in the most unlikely circumstances. When by faith we believe the promises of God’s
Word, we can experience rivers of living water and grace for our daily needs.
Only Jesus, the Living Water, can satisfy our thirst for God.
The Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 6-8 & 1 Timothy 5
Three days after the Israelites left Egypt, the water they brought along was
depleted. Finding no drinkable water in the Desert of Shur, they grumbled against
Moses, and God miraculously made bitter water into good water (Ex. 15:22-25). Soon
their food supplies ran out, and they complained again. God miraculously fed them
with manna and quail (16:1-36). As they approached Sinai, they complained yet again
of no water (17:1-2). God had already shown them He could provide the water and food
they needed. All they had to do was to trust Him! (Deut. 8:2; Ps. 81:7-8).
Consider how God has been faithful to provide for your physical needs. How has He
satisfied your spiritual thirst? Sim Kay Tee
To read today’s Our Daily Bread online visit www.odb.org