Today’s One Year Bible reading in Exodus 15:19–17:7 picks up the story right after the Israelites had experienced God’s miraculous deliverance through the waters of the Red Sea. The people sang praises to the Lord, and moved forward into the desert. Three days later, they arrived at Marah, which means “bitter”—so named because the water there was too bitter to drink. Their praise and thankfulness turned into grumbling. Once again God met their need in a miraculous way, making the water sweet! And God instructed the people on the necessity of listening to Him carefully and obeying Him completely.
After stopping at Elim, where there was more water, the Israelites moved deeper into the desert, and we find them complaining again, this time about a lack of food. Again God provided miraculously for them, sending meat—quail—and bread from Heaven, which they called “manna.” Along with the manna came explicit instructions which, when followed, brought good results. But those who didn’t follow God’s instructions suffered the consequences.
After further travels, the Israelites arrived at Rephidim, where the lack of water gave rise to quarreling again. And again God responded miraculously, this time giving water from a rock! The names Moses gave that place—Massah (“testing”) and Meribah (“quarreling”)—would help the people remember what happened there.
Today’s readings in Ps. 27:1-6 and Prov. 6:20-26 remind us that the Lord takes care of us; when troubles arise, we’re safe in His care; and His commands, when remembered and followed, keep us from doing wrong. Matt. 22:29 warns us that not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God leads us into error.
Remembering God’s care for us in the past gives us confidence of His care for us in the future.