Week 18 Monday

By Stages

Today’s scripture selection: Exodus 17-20

Key verse: Exodus 17:1

“From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded.”

Long journeys are best traveled in stages.

But, people also get very impatient on the journey, especially if their perceived needs aren’t met.  Just ask Moses – who had to deal with a grumbling nation of travelers.

They went so far to say to their guide, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”

When met with this complaint, Moses was wise enough to go to the Lord for answers.  And more than answers – he sought real, practical help.  The Lord provided that help, in the form of water, ironically gushing forth from a dry rock, which he had Moses strike open.

Time and again an unfaithful people tested God – time and again he proved them wrong – by providing what they needed most, exactly when they needed it.

How different their journey might have been – and how much shorter – if they had only traveled step by step in faith.

That’s an important lesson for us to learn – and the sooner the better.  If we can undergird our daily walk with God, with studying the Bible, and with faithful prayer, we won’t often go off path.

We may find, now and then, that we think our needs aren’t being met.  We may doubt and think God has left us to fend for ourselves.  We may fear.  We may even get angry now and then and start grumbling.  “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to kill us?”  There are, after all, many kinds of bondage from which we might be graciously set free – only to wish we were back “home” in familiar territory when the going gets rough.

But slavery is slavery – and freedom is freedom.  And we find freedom by taking the route God lovingly provided – step by step – in stages.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, strengthen my faith by your Holy Spirit, that I may walk in trust with you, wherever you lead.  AMEN.

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