We start with one of those odd episodes to us reading this now but at the time they were crises fro the people of Israel. Moses had spent 40 years in the desert and knew now things could work there, though throwing a bit of wood into alkaline water generally does not work. The Israelites were not only urban, they were slaves. They were used to having everything done for them so they could work.
And they were used to having wells with clean water, as at Elim, an oasism in the desert..
Consider what would happen if the benefit system breaks and the Debit cards are not honoured and the case has run out in most cities. Or if the trucks cant’ get through. You will have civil disturbance.
Which is what Moses had at this time.
22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
The promise has a condition: if you listen carefully to the Lord you won’t get hit by the plagues. Implied is if you don’t listen, things will go badly for you. The law does lit the punishments for disobedience, not just of each person, but for a people.
Moses and the law, however, point to Christ.
3 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.
Mpses was not perfect in his witness. None of us are. But we honour him for the burden he took and the law be proclaimed and the moulding of Israel from slaves to an arm over a generation that then destroyed the evil of the Amorites.
And Christ said he wrote about him.
The commands we now have are far greater than the law, and the consequences of disobedience are eternal. Choose Christ therefore, and ignore the emotional manipulation of the inept urbanised elite and their useful idiots.
We were not called to be like them.