Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 23, 2022

“tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. … That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 17:1-7.

“Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.  Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.”  And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me?  Why do you test the LORD?”  But the people thirsted there for water;  and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”  So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do to this people?  A little more and they will stone me.”  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel;  and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.  Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb;  and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”  And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.  He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not?”  Exodus 17:1-7.


We read of two recent and similar earlier miracles of the LORD.

When Israel went out into the wilderness of Shur, and they went three days in the wilderness, they likewise found no drinkable water.  “When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter;  therefore it was named Marah.  So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”  Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree;  and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.”  Exodus 15:23-25. 

When Israel set out from Elim and came to the wilderness of Sin, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt, they found no food. “The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full;  for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you;  and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.”  Exodus 16:1-4. 

Despite these two recent and similar miraculous experiences, in addition to the miracle of the LORD saving Israel by parting the Red Sea for Israel and allowing Israel to cross it on dry land and closing it behind them and drowning their enemies, the Egyptians, Israel tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not?”  

But, the LORD did another miracle and saved Israel again as we read in today’s Scripture.  

Psalm chapter 78 speaks of the LORD’S guidance and providence for Israel despite their unfaithfulness.  It goes into great detail and is too long to quote in the format of this short devotion.  But, I will quote the following exhortation to remember God’s wondrous works and to tell them to our children and others so that they will put their confidence in God and keep His commandments and be faithful to God.     

“4 We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

5 For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God
But keep His commandments,
8 And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.” Psalm 78:4-8.


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