Read Exodus 17
Focus on verse 4
Leadership is not for the faint of heart or for those with a thin skin. Leadership requires the fortitude to believe and move forward even when most of those who are following are pushing in the opposite direction. There is a delicate balance of encouragement, humility and tenacity that gives effective leaders the ability to move reluctant followers along.
Moses was such a leader, and what kept him from giving up was his confidence that God was leading the mission. This does not, however, mean that Moses did not at times get frustrated with his role, or feel like giving up. It is also critical to notice that he typically expresses these frustrations appropriately to the only One who can do anything about it, in this case being God.
So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” (v. 4)
This is not the first time the people have complained to Moses, nor is it the last time they will forget the amazing things that God has already done for them. It had not been all that long ago that the Lord cured the bitter water, and He has been providing bread from heaven every morning, and meat every evening. Now at the first water shortage, it’s the same routine… “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to kill us with thirst in the wilderness?” Whine, whine, whine, like ungrateful children with very short memories!
While Moses here begins to show signs of growing tired of being whined at, the Lord in His love and mercy, patiently provides another sign of His provision by bringing forth water from a rock, which not only met the immediate need of the people, but provides us with a wonderful prophetic picture of how Jesus Christ would become the rock the builders reject, from whom a river of living water would flow to all who are thirsty for authentic and eternal spiritual life.