Guest Blog written by: Brad Kempson
Today’s reading starts out with the Israelites complaining. First about not having water to drink, second about not having any food to eat. They would say, “Why did you take us out of Egypt? There at least we had food to eat, but you took us into this desert to starve!” Every time the Israelites complained, God talked to Moses and told him that He has heard the grumbling and complaining of the people. Every time, God had relief for them even in their doubts and anger.
That’s what God has for us. When we feel upset at God for not doing things the way we want, He hears us. He has put us in these situations to bring us something better in the end. Through all the suffering the Israelites went through in the desert, God and Moses ultimately knew that they would be taken into the promised land.
When the Amalekites attacked, the Israelites were probably scared and upset that God had done this. Moses took Aaron and Hur with him up onto a hill and looked down on the battle. When Moses had his hands raised, the Israelites would be winning, but if he lowered them, they would be losing. When Moses got tired, Aaron and Hur got a rock for Moses to sit on. They also held up his hands. In times like these now, we need people to help us hold our hands up when we get tired. In the same way, we need to be aware of others that need help and are tired.
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, visited Moses one day and gave him some good advice. Moses was taking on all the problems of the Israelites. Jethro told Moses that trying to solve all of the problems would wear him down. Sometimes we are like that today. We try to help everyone and we get tired. We need to have other people to go to and help problems. We can’t take it all on our own and God knows that so he gives us others to help.
After all of this, God gives the Israelites a set of rules to follow. These rules are more than just the Ten Commandments. They are rules about Idols and altars, servants injuring others, handling other’s property, how to act in social places, and rules about the sabbath. God gave these rules so that the Israelites would stay with God forever. These rules are still there today, and even though some aren’t enforced in the same way, we still should follow them now so that we can stay closer to God and be with him forever.