1 –From Sin’s desert, the people reached Rephidim, Massah, Meribah… and once more complained asking Moses for bread… meat… water.
- God told Moses to go up to the mountain, to strike the rock with the staff and to give water to the people. 17,5
- The real rock and water will be Jesus as he told to the lady of Samaria Jn.4,1-42 ; 1Cor.10.4. : Ps.94(95)
- After this miracle God told Moses, Aaron, Hur to go up on the mountain and to pray for Joshua who must fight against the Amalekites 17,8-15
2 –With these few lines we understand that the complaints…the unbelief of the people, will go on forever.
- The name Massah it means test, temptation.
- Meribah it means to quarrel, to protest.
3 – This aptitude of complaining started with Lucifer… Became the habit of the Israelites and… it is the norm of our time.
- The war against Amalekites, (Arabic people) started with Joseph’s brothers Gen.45,24. And will go on from generation to generation. 17,15 because the Arabic people, want to control the roads and all the lucrative business… from Egypt to Palestine.
4 – The short chapter 17,1-16 is teaching us many things like :
Prayer… Who… How… Why… to pray. Ccc.2559-2758
Miracles : Why there are and the meaning of miracles.
-The real standard… rock and water… miracles… is Jesus as
John and Paul told us. 1Cor.10,4 ; Jn.4,1-42.
- But the Israelites and, perhaps many believers of our time, do not understand.
- So, we should not raise up swords… rifles… missiles against God or brothers but, we should raise up our hands like Moses and Jesus on the cross asking forgiveness for our sins and… lamentations. Ex.18,11 ; Jn.12,32
- The B. said that when the Messiah will come he will fight and destroy enemies
-The enemies that Jesus will destroy will be Devil, and sins… Not sinners.
Jesus died for the salvation of sinners. Ez.33,11 ; Lk.23,34.43.
- The weapons to use to fight evil are prayers, sacrifices, fasting.
5 – PRAYER : In the B there are many prayers. Our Father. Ccc.2759-2865
- Moses’ prayed for the conversion of Pharaoh. Ex.8-10.
To forgive the idolatry of the Israelites. Ex.32
To free the people from the snakes. Nm.11,1-2 ; 21,4-9.
To forgive and cure his sister Miriam. Nm.12,9-13.
To forgive the people who did not trust in Moses. Nm.14.1-19.
Asking God to free him from the duty of leading the Israelites. Nm.11,10-15
- Prayer is to talk with God face to face. Ex.24,9-17 ; 33,7.23 ; 34,1-10.28-35
- We can pray with words… songs… silence… crying… fasting…
6 – MIRACLES : Moses , Prophets, Jesus operated many miracles.
- The Devil can do something strange that can surprise the people but the miracles of Saints and Jesus and, Devil’s actions, are very different.
* Devil, real spiritual person, can speak strange languages….
Manifest supernatural power…. He knew the identity of Jesus and he fought against him. Mt.8,29 ; Mk.5,7 ; Lk.8,28.
* The aim of Devil is to possess completely the persons and to take them to the second and eternal death. Satan has many names. Ccc.2851-2
* Devil is called : Satan. Lk.10,18 The malign Mt.13,19 ; Jn.17,15 .
The enemy Mt.13,39. Liar. Jn.8,44 . Darkness. Lk.12,53.
The Strong one. Jn.11,21. But he could never be the winner over Jesus.
Jesus rejects all the Satan’s temptations. Mt.4.1-11.
Jesus saw Satan falling from heaven. Lk.10,17.
Jesus, the real God, will attract everything to him. Jn.12,31-32
7 – Moses, Prophets, Saints did some miracles after many prayers or using external objects like the staff of Moses.
- On the contrary Jesus, could make any kind of miracle at any time for the benefit of the people.
- He had power over body, spirit, nature. Mt.4,23-25 ; 8,23-34 ; Mk.6,45-52.
- Jesus could do miracles just with one word or… saliva or… after a short prayer for helping the faith of those who were to be healed or… for his disciples. Jn.2,1-12. Who is this man. Mk.1,27
8 – The word Miracles comes from mirari = To astonish, doing amazing work.
St. Matthew calls them thaumasia.Mt.21,15
St. John calls them erga, external, visible, teaching signs that want to teach something spiritual, invisible.
- Jesus never did miracles for himself but for the benefit of others.
Leper Mk.1.40-45. Paralytic Mk.2,1-12. The deaf and dumb man.Mk.7,31-37
To raise the daughter of Jairus. 5.21-43. To expel demons. Mk.5,1-20.
To improve faith and, to teach the people that he was God.
So it means that the reign of God was already present. Lk.11,20
- Those who did not believe were possessed by devil. Jn.8,43-44
And could not be saved. Mt. 12,31.
- Jesus never did miracles for show. He forbade the people to talk.Mt.8,1-4
- Jesus did miracles for teaching… healing… expelling demons.1Jn,3,8
9 – Sickness, poverty, premature death… suffering of innocent babies… are not punishments from God but can be used by God for teaching something good… Or for asking to some person to offer their sufferings, to take part in a special way to the history of salvation.
10 – The dangerous sin, of our time is, to think that, Devil did not exist any more so, it is not necessary to pray.. to be prudent.. to repent… to confess…
- So, terrorism.. fanaticism.. hedonism… corruption… any kind of complaining against God, religion, moral… are telling us that… we are really completely possessed and slaves of devil power.
-The stories that we are talking about, are teaching us how to fight against this kind of slavery
- So, our Exodus, is only at the beginning and will be completed when…we will be docile to the teaching of the Holy Spirit who is revealing us the Redeemer and merciful Jesus.